Saturday, 19 February 2011

Roasted Dates with Bacon, Almonds, and Chile

It's date night!

No, we are not getting dressed and going out. Don't be silly. We are old. And funny looking. And besides, it is cold out there.

Rather, I am dressing up these lovely dates for a fun and delicious appetizer or accompaniment to a fabulous meal. They'd be great along with Moroccan food, or a great bottle of wine. Or, why not, both!

Dates are naturally sweet and high in fibre. They are also a great source of potassium. Give bananas the night off, it's date night!
Roasted Dates with Bacon, Almonds, and Chile
adapted from Michael Symon, original recipe here


2 cups pitted dates
4 strips thick cut bacon, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Put the dates on a small rimmed baking sheet, bellies pressed in with your thumb to make little boats or shells for filling.

3. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crispy, about 5 minutes. Strain the excess fat. Add the almonds and red pepper flakes and continue cooking until they brown, a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the butter, lemon juice and parsley. Remove from heat and let cool until comfortable to handle. Stuff into dates and roast for 5 minutes. Serve.