Roasted Dates with Pancetta, Almonds and Chile
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 3 ounces pancetta, finely diced (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chicken stock, homemade if available
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1/4 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the dates on a small rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta until it is three-quarters crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the almonds and continue cooking until they brown, a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the red pepper flakes and stock and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, stirring continuously until the butter is melted. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.
Add the dates to the pan and swirl and toss them in the sauce. Divide the cooked dates among 4 to 6 plates and spoon the sauce over them.