Bacon-wrapped dates with andouille and romesco sauce are perfect for your tapas party
About the recipe
While this dish has its roots as a Spanish tapa, the ingredients are purely Southern. Crusty bread acts as a thickener for the romesco sauce, and olive oil gives it a glossy sheen.
Tip: When wrapping foods in bacon, running the back of a knife along each strip makes it thinner and allows it to better crisp in the oven.
Hands on Time: 45 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
1 1-inch-thick slice crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 roasted red bell pepper, from a jar
1 large plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
24 pitted dates
4 ounces andouille sausage, diced
4 strips Applewood-smoked bacon, cut into thirds
To make the romesco:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, 10 minutes.
On a second baking sheet, arrange pecans in a single layer and bake until lightly browned and toasted, 5 to 7 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat oil and garlic over medium heat and cook until garlic is slightly soft and lightly browned. Add bell pepper and tomato, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, toasted bread and pecans, and season with salt. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and pureé until smooth.
To make the dates:
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
With a paring knife, cut a small slit lengthwise in each date. Stuff a piece of andouille sausage into each date. Run the back of a chef’s knife along each strip of bacon to stretch it out. Wrap each date with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Place dates on a baking sheet and bake until bacon is crisp and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with warm romesco sauce on the side.