Bacon and Medjool dates are a brilliant pairing: The bacon is crisp and salty, the date is chewy and deeply sweet. You could just stop there, of course, but adding in a soft blue cheese — sharp and spicy — adds another layer of texture and flavor, and brings the two salty-sweet extremes together.
As appetizers go, these are rich and substantive. They’re terrific for a socially distant happy hour because they’re portioned and, with less than a handful of steps, they’re also very easy to put together.
Our tip: Wrap your dates up the night before you need them and store them in the fridge. You can bake them off right before folks arrive and serve them warm. We also recommend pairing them with a lush red wine, like Gelson’s cabernet sauvignon.
20 to 24 Medjool dates, pitted and halved
4 oz sharp blue cheese
1 12-oz package of Gelson’s Bacon, each slice cut into thirds
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Fill each date with blue cheese, wrap it with a bacon slice, and secure it with a toothpick. Note: The goal is to wrap the date in a single layer of bacon, so you get a nice bacon-date-cheese ratio.
- Place a wire rack on a baking sheet, and put the bacon-wrapped dates on it in a single layer.
- Bake the dates for 35 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and caramelized.