Roasted Dates with Goat Cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon

Roasted Dates with Goat Cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon
photography Elizabeth Messina

photography Elizabeth Messina

I created this recipe over ten years ago for Melissa Greenspan and David Azar's wedding.  It became one of my most copied recipes and is in the top ten of favorite hors d'oeuvres for my clients.  It is also the first recipe I posted on my blog The Maili Files so I thought it would be fitting to have it as the first recipe I posted on my new web site.

Here is the original post from 2005:

I had heard of dates before but honestly had not idea what they looked like or tasted like.  For some reason they sounded yucky to me, like an old date-nut cake that sat wrapped in a cupboard for years.  I'm not sure what made me think I didn't like dates because I absolutely LOVE them now and eat them for snacks all the time.  When Melissa asked me to put something with dates on her wedding menu I didn't even know what they looked like.  This recipe is different than the more common bacon wrapped dates that you may have had before.  Because they are cut in half, they are easier to eat and the goat cheese balances out the richness of the dates.  The bacon is only a small crispy strip on top.  

ROASTED DATES WITH GOAT CHEESE AND APPLEWOOD SMOKED BACON

Makes 50 to 60 dates, serving about 30 guests

2 pounds (25-30) Medjool Dates

11 ounces Silver Chèvre Goat Cheese

1 pound Applewood Smoked Bacon

Cut dates in half lengthwise and remove pit.  Place halves on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Fill the empty date halves with about a teaspoon or so of goat cheese.  (The dates can be prepared like this up to two days in advance.)

Cook the bacon separately until it is 75% cooked.  The final crisp-up of the bacon will be in the oven on the dates.  (If you are making the dates ahead of time for a party keep the cooked bacon separate from the goat cheese until just before you put them in the oven.)

When you are ready to serve, slice the bacon into strips width-wise and top each goat cheese-filled date with two strips of bacon.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until hot.  Serve warm.

Maili