Hot Italian Sausage Stuffed Dates with Lemon Basil Crèma

ingredients

Makes 12 stuffed dates
 
Sauce
2 tablespoons sour creamsour cream2
1 tablespoon mascarponemascarpone cheese1
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from approx 1lemon)lemon zest1
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juicelemon juice2
3 tablespoons chopped basilbasil3
¼ teaspoon kosher saltkosher salt¼
Dates
12 medjool datesmedjool dates12
2 links hot Italian sausagespicy italian sausage2
¼ pound sliced bacon (about 6 slices)bacon slices¼

instructions

 
Sauce
Whisk together all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors marry.
Dates
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make a small slit, lengthwise, down the center of each date. Remove the pits and open the dates slightly leaving the bottom in tack. Remove the casing from the Italian sausage. Cut the slices of bacon in half making 12 shorter slices of bacon. Place a two teaspoons of the loose sausage in each of the opened dates. Close the date up and around the sausage. (it will not close completely leaving some of the sausage exposed.) Wrap the date in one of the halved slices of bacon and place on a baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the dates.

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 8-10min more, or until the bacon is crisp. Serve warm along side the orange basil crèma.

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