Blue Cheese & Bacon Dates with Green Olive Tapenade

Bacon Blue Cheese Dates

Are you as excited as I am about watching TV this Sunday? The suspense, the egos, the drama – man, I love those commercials!

Another reason to get excited about this Sunday? An excuse to eat nothing but snacks and appetizers all day long. Sometimes I wish every meal could be comprised of nothing but appetizers. (And aren’t the hors d’oeuvres always the best part of a wedding or any catered event? Why is that?)

If you’re looking for a super-simple, super-delicious appetizer for Sunday, or for any day, try these 3-ingredient Blue Cheese and Bacon Dates (with Green Olive Tapenade, but that adds a few more ingredients). Not a fan of dates? I bet that’s because you’ve never tried them stuffed with blue cheese and snuggled in bacon, baked until the three ingredients meld into one crisp, salty-sweet, mind-blowing bite. (Did that all just sound like a commercial?)

The Green Olive Tapenade provides a nice (and I would say important) acidic counterpoint to the candy-like date “kisses”. It also makes a great dip on its own, for any vegan/vegetarian/paleo/gluten-free friends who might stop by. If you don’t want to take the 30 seconds it takes to dump olives into a food processor and hit ‘pulse’, you could use store-bought tapenade (preferably without anchovies), or even set out a small bowl of balsamic vinegar for dipping instead. (Just watch for drips, especially if you have white carpeting or marble countertops.)

Blue Cheese and Bacon Dates with Green Olive Tapenade

  •  24 pitted dates (or as many as you feel like making)
  • 12 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise (I prefer “center-cut” because it’s leaner and the slices are shorter)
  • Small chunk of blue cheese (approx. 2 ounces), cut into 24 almond-sized slivers
  • Green olive tapenade for serving (recipe below)

IMG_2219Heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut dates in half. Onto half of the date halves, add a sliver of blue cheese. Place the other date halves on top and press together.

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Tightly wrap the stuffed dates in bacon (the bacon’s stretchy so don’t be afraid to pull on it). Place seam-side down onto prepared baking sheet. (A lot of people use toothpicks to keep the bacon wrapped around the dates, but I find it’s unnecessary. I just sample any that might come unwrapped.)

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Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Using tongs, transfer bacon dates to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

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While dates are baking, make the Green Olive Tapenade. (Though it could also be made several days ahead and refrigerated.)

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Green Olive Tapenade

  • 1 jar pitted green Spanish olives, drained (approx. 5-6 oz.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 splash (1 Tablespoon) olive oil
  • 1 splash (1 Tablespoon) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves (optional)

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until all incorporated. Add a little more olive oil for a smoother consistency, if desired.

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Bacon Blue Cheese Dates

Serve bacon dates hot, warm, or at room temperature. Toothpicks optional, depending on how fancy you want to be. A small spoon for the tapenade is helpful, though, to help get enough of it onto the bacon/date bites.

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dates with tapenade

7 thoughts on “Blue Cheese & Bacon Dates with Green Olive Tapenade

  1. Sue, thank goodness you finally posted this! My mouth still waters when I think about how delicious these are. I remember them from your open house! Thank you!

  2. I just brought these to a Assumption Fashion Show gathering, and they were such a hit, that I sent the link to everyone who attended! Thanks for making me look like a superstar chef!

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