These sausage-stuffed dates broiled in bacon always get an especially warm welcome (and they can easily be assembled well ahead of time then baked off as needed).
Hot Italian Sausage Stuffed Dates with Lemon-Basil Creama
- For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons sour cream at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon mascarpone at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest from approximately 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the dates:
- 12 medjool dates
- 2 links hot Italian sausage
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon about 6 slices
- For the sauce, whisk together the sour cream, mascarpone, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, and salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors marry.
- For the dates, preheat the oven to 400°F. Make a small slit lengthwise, down the center of each date. Remove the pits and open the dates slightly, leaving the bottom intact. Remove the casing from the Italian sausage. Cut the slices of bacon in half, making 12 shorter slices.
- Place two teaspoons of the loose sausage in each of the opened dates, then close up around the sausage (it will not close completely, leaving some of the sausage exposed). Wrap each date in one of the halved slices of bacon and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake the dates for 8 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and flip each of the dates. Return to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or more, or until the bacon is crisp. Serve warm alongside the lemon-basil creama.