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Whipped Goat Cheese Dip with Bacon, Dates and Honey

I had pinned a similar recipe from this site a few weeks ago because it looked amazing and also because I had all ingredients on hand besides the shallots and rosemary (white or sweet onions can definitely be used in a  pinch). I just needed to have a “bring an appetizer” event. Enter my now annual cousin Christmas party. There are nine of us; my sister lives in Colorado so that makes for 8 couples in attendance. Everyone brought an appetizer. For a party that starts after you ate the pizza meant for the sitter and kids, that’s a lot of food. I am that lame person that took a picture of the appetizer table at the end of the night because THIS DIP was the only dish we had completely finished. And let me tell you, there were a lot of delicious options. My family is comprised largely of foodies and cooks. Now, did it take a minute to put together? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes, or I wouldn’t be saving it here. I plan to make this many, many more times.

I linked the crostini I made because I like to make my own; I slice the bread super thin (preference). You can buy crostini, OR you can serve this with crackers. If you want to keep the whole shebang gluten free, serve it with veggies or gluten free crackers.

It’s actually so close to being lectin free; I’m linking it as such. The only swap would be to use goat yogurt or goat kefir instead of the greek yogurt. Both are available at Trader Joes.

Whipped Goat Cheese Dip with Bacon, Dates and Honey

Serves 8-10

3 slices thick cut bacon (5 slices regular bacon)

10.5 oz creamy goat cheese

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt (any fat percentage will do)

1/4 c. honey, divided

2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 large shallot, finely diced

10 medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced or chopped

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Crostini for serving

  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon in dry pan over medium low heat until crisp on both sides. Remove to paper towel to drain. Keep fat in pan. Chop once cooled.
  2. Meanwhile, combine goat cheese, yogurt, 2 tbsp. of the honey, olive oil, water, salt and pepper in medium mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer or whisk well until completely smooth. Spoon mixture into shallow serving bowl or plate and spread.
  3. Add rosemary to pan (maintain medium low heat) and cook until deep golden brown – flip and cook on second side. Remove to drain with bacon.
  4. Add shallot to pan and cook until softened and golden brown; add cider vinegar,  dates, reserved chopped bacon and remaining 2 tbsp. honey and increase heat to bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, a few minutes.
  5. Spoon mixture on top of goat cheese. Sprinkle with rosemary (the leaves only) and drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a  shake of freshly ground black pepper and serve. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate. Heat to serve in warm oven  or microwave (depending on serving platter).