I love meals that have complexity of taste… combinations of creamy and peppery, sugary and pickled, rich and tangy, aromatic and mild… but are easy to shop for and simple to prepare. Dates Stuffed with Almonds and Wrapped in Bacon is a perfect dish. It combines the juicy, fruity flesh of dates, crunchy sweet meat of almonds and crispy, saltiness of bacon. Yum! This recipe is inspired by the traditional tapas dish with just a few changes.
Your only ingredients are dates, almonds and bacon. The biggest modification is that I usually use turkey bacon. Sacrilege, I know. But it’s just easier if we are hosting guests who don’t eat fatty meats. Plus, it cooks faster. And it is super crispy. I also, unfortunately, don’t have a wood-fired brick oven, so I just bake the dates. And finally, I like slivered almonds, either raw or blanched, instead of whole, salted almonds. We have enough salt in everything else we eat. And whole almonds are sometimes too big.
You can make as many or as few as you like. Three to four per person is a good appetizer serving. Work backwards: number of guests x 3 or 4 = number of dates needed/ 3 = number of bacon slices needed. Figure 2-3 slivers per date.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pit each date and replace each pit with almond slivers.
Cut bacon slices into thirds.
Wrap each date with bacon and pin with toothpick. It’s okay to double wrap a date if the bacon piece is a little skimpy. Place dates on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 2-3 minutes and serve.
Tonight we splurged and ate the dates as our entrée with rice and vegetables in tomato broth and fresh, sliced pear on the side. But they make a wonderful, pop-in-your-mouth appetizer for any event. Enjoy Dates Stuffed with Almonds and Wrapped in Bacon!