Sweet Medjool dates are stuffed with nutty Manchego cheese & smoked almonds, wrapped with savory bacon and served with a smoky sweet Romesco sauce.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Stuff one piece of Manchego and 2 almonds inside of each date and press closed. Wrap with a half piece of bacon, secure with a toothpick and lay on its side on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all dates.
Bake for 12 minutes on first side. Remove pan from oven, flip each date over, turn the pan 180 degrees, and bake for another 10-12 minutes, until bacon is fully cooked. Remove from oven and transfer dates to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess bacon fat.
While the dates bake, make the Romesco sauce. In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauté until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add roasted red peppers, almond butter, paprika, cayenne, and more salt and pepper to taste (I usually add about ¼ tsp more salt and a few healthy grinds of pepper). Blend or process until smooth. Add parsley and stir to combine.
Drizzle a little Romesco sauce on a serving platter, arrange dates on top and sprinkle with a little extra parsley. Serve extra Romesco sauce on the side for dipping.
The dates actually stay wrapped in the bacon pretty nicely without the toothpick, but the toothpicks are a nice little handle for both flipping the dates and for serving them, so I recommend using them.
These are a great make ahead appetizer to keep on hand! Make up a bunch of the stuffed/wrapped dates and place them on a tray in the freezer (uncooked). Once they are frozen firm, transfer to a zip top bag and return to the freezer to store. When you're ready to serve them, just pull them out, place them on the baking sheet and pop them in the oven! They take a little longer to bake from frozen but just keep an eye on the bacon and cook until it reaches your desired level of crispiness.
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Romesco Sauce https://yummynoises.com/bacon-wrapped-dates-with-romesco-sauce/