Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

At once sweet, smoky, and salty, the little brown nuggets are a crowd pleaser, the perfect pick-up nibble to offer with cocktails. To make small shards of Parmesan cheese, cut them from a wedge of cheese with a sharp knife. Serve them hot from the oven while the cheese is still warm and watch how fast they disappear. Advance preparation: Make up to 1 day ahead through step 1, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

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    Ingredients

    18 large Medjool dates 6 slices apple-cured bacon, each cut into thirds
    18 pieces Parmesan cheese, each about 1 inch by 1/4 inch 1 bunch parsley, stems removed, for garnish

    directions

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    • 1

      Variations: Arrange the dates on top of mixed greens dressed with vinaigrette for an unusual first course. Substitute different cheeses such as dry Sonoma Jack or Pecorino Toscano.

    • 2

      Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Slit each date along one side and carefully remove the pit. Insert a piece of Parmesan into each slit. Wrap a piece of bacon around each stuffed date and secure with a toothpick. Place the dates on a baking sheet.

    • 3

      Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the bacon on top is crisp. Using tongs, turn the dates and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Transfer the dates to a double layer of paper towels to drain.

    • 4

      Place the parsley bunch in the center of a round serving platter and arrange the dates around the parsely. Serve immediately.

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