These can be assembled in advance and baked just before serving, ideal for your busy party planning. They can also be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon and reducing baking time to 10 minutes. Either way, these are hand-held bites that just explode with flavor and texture. What other appetizer can promise you sweet, savory, salty, smoky and creamy flavors along with chewy and crisp textures, all in the same mouthful? I can't think of another.
Yield: 12 pieces
- 12 Medjool dates
- 2 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, sliced in half width-wise
- Make a vertical slit on one side of each date (do not cut all the way through) and remove the pit.
- Place a few crumbles of gorgonzola into the pocket you've created in each date, then carefully reseal the opening after filling.
- Wrap a half-slice of bacon around each filled date, overlapping on the bottom, keeping the cut side of the date up so the cheese doesn't ooze out. Secure with a toothpick if desired. These can be baked immediately or wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated until you're ready for your guests to arrive.
- Place each wrapped date on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, until bacon is crisp and cheese is oozy.
- Transfer with tongs to a plate lined with several layers of paper towels to absorb excess grease. Enjoy hot.