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I’ve had several iterations of this appetizer / tapas dish at various restaurants and prepared by friends. The basic components are a date, stuffed with either cheese or a Marcona almond, and then wrapped in either bacon or prosciutto. I don’t think I need to explain why these are amazing.

I love the almond version because of the added textural element – that crunch is a great counterpoint to the softness of the date. So my original plan was not to include any cheese. But when I got my Medjool dates home from Sahadi’s, I realized they were the size of golf balls and perhaps the sad little almonds wouldn’t be enough of a filling. So why not just use the almonds and the goat cheese, which I already had on hand for my stuffed piquillo peppers!

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I sliced open the dates along one side, and removed the pit. Then I dropped in a bit of goat cheese and nestled an almond on top. I sealed the dates back up and then wrapped each with a sliver of prosciutto. I don’t always love how the smokiness of bacon overwhelms other, milder flavors, which is why I decided to go with prosciutto this time. It was nice, but I do think I like the texture of bacon better. Either way, you will not disappoint with these as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre at your next party. They’re so simple, and so full of flavor (and impressive, too).

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To bake them, just preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake for 5 – 8 minutes, depending on the size of the dates. Check them after a few minutes and turn them over so that the bacon or prosciutto browns evenly on both sides. Then eat ’em while they’re hot!