Ann's Warm Dates Stuffed With Blue Cheese And Almonds

Serves 6
Recipe By: Betty Rosbottom

12mediummedjool dates (available in most supermarkets)
4ouncesblue cheese -- such as Maytag Blue, at room temperature
2tablespoonssliced almonds -- toasted and coarsely chopped (see note)

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a
medium-size baking pan or dish. Slice the dates lengthwise, cutting (not all the
way through) just enough to remove the pits. Fill the cavities of the dates with
about 1/2 teaspoon blue cheese. Save extra cheese for another use. Sprinkle dates
with chopped almonds, and arrange in the baking pan. (Dates can be prepared 3 hours
ahead; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30
minutes before baking.) Bake dates until warm and cheese has melted, about 8
minutes. Remove and arrange on a small serving plate or place them in a long, narrow
olive tray. Serve warm.

Note: To toast almonds, arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350
degrees. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned,
about 5 to 6 minutes for sliced almonds. Watch carefully so nuts do not burn. Remove
and cool.

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