These bacon-wrapped goat-cheese-filled dates were the hottest appetizer of the ‘70s, and they’re way overdue for a comeback. Possibly named after Norman warriors who terrorized southern England, these little treats are ugly as sin but oh-so-delicious. They’ll be hoovered up in a minute, so definitely make an extra batch. The toothpicks, while kitsch, also make them extremely easy to eat.
20 Medjool dates (or any large date), pitted
1 small log of fresh chèvre
10 strips of bacon, cut in half crosswise
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Poke your finger in the pitted dates, creating a little hole. Take a small junk of chèvre (between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon) and push it into the date. Don’t overfill them, otherwise you’ll get a mess in the oven.
3. Wrap each filled date in one half-slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
4. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet (I put mine on top of a silicone pad or wrap the pan in aluminum and top with parchment) and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the bacon is fully crisped. There will be some grease on the pan, so before plating, pat the dates on a paper towel. Plate and serve after they’ve cooled for a few minutes.
Photograph: Claire Thomas