In L.A. Chowhound messages, a poster had expressed interest in a wonderful appetizer that is served at a local restaurant. The recipe was in Gourmet Magazine, and for those who might be interested, I am including it in this post. So easy, and so wonderful. Sweet from the dates, and smokey/salty from the bacon and Parmesan.
Parmesan-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon
18 (1-by 1/4-inch)sticks Parmigiano-Reggiano
18 pitted dates (preferably Medjool)
6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thirds
18 wooden picks
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450. Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with a pick. Arrange dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper bag or parchment. Serve immediately.
Dates can be stuffed and wrapped in bacon 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.
My technique for pitting the dates was to simply take a tweezers, poke a little opening at one end of the date, and easily pull out the pit. Medjool dates are so easy to cleanly pit---can't vouch for other varieties.