I've been living La Dolce Vita for the past four days. School was canceled due to illness, and no one in my household was sick, so we had a lovely four days off. Let me tell ya...it was bliss. I read two cookbooks, cooked several dishes every day, and got caught up on all kinds of TV. I'm hoping the much-needed rest was good for my immune system.
I also received a shipment from Misfits Market, a company that sources misfit organic produce and ships it directly to your home. Some people have strong feelings about companies like Misfits because they feel as though this produce would otherwise go to food banks. Most likely, there is some truth to that, but in my community and many others, we don't have access to a good variety of organic produce or foods. So, I consider it a total win because otherwise we would be forced to eat conventional produce and/or drive 30-40 one-way to obtain it.
So far I'm really enjoying everything I've received from Misfits Market. I have received some things with bruises or soft spots, but I enjoy having the chance to use up this produce. Food waste has become way too prevalent in America. What I love about is Misfits is that each week they give you a list of produce to choose from and you can actually choose what you get! Then there's the add ons, like these organic Medjool dates. I have a hard time finding Medjool dates in my market, let alone organic. So, if you're like me and you don't have access to good organic produce and goods, then you may want to give this company a try.
For this week's theme, La Dolce Vita, I wanted to make a dish that was both sweet and savory, that was on the healthy side, without added sugars. I researched stuffed dates and found that I had all the ingredients on hand to make Giada's Crispy Sausage Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon with Lemon-Basil Crema.
Giada says she serves these stuffed dates in her restaurant and they are her number one selling appetizer. I can believe it! These are so seductive: chewy and sweet dates wrapped in crispy and salty bacon stuffed with savory and spicy sausage. Then you have the fresh silky addition of the lemon-basil crema and it's like a party in your mouth. One bite and you simply have to have another and another. I'm convinced no one could eat just one!
If you're looking to satisfy your sweet and savory tooth, these are for you. They are absolutely incredible!
Crispy Sausage Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon with
Adapted from Food Network
by Giada De Laurentiis
For the Lemon-Basil Crema:
2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon mascarpone, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt, to taste
For the Dates:
12 Medjool dates
2 links hot sausage, casings removed
6 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), cut crosswise in half
For the crema: 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 400F. Make a small lengthwise slit down the center of each date. Remove the pits and open the dates slightly; make sure they stay intact. Stuff each date with 1 teaspoon of the sausage. Close the dates up and around the sausage (they won't close completely) leaving some of the sausage exposed. Wrap each date in a piece of bacon and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes. Flip the dates, and bake until the bacon is crisp another 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm, with the crema on the side.