Food Critic Friday 3.0 and Prosciutto-Wrapped Dates

My husband and I have about a 2 min and 15 sec walk from our front door to a fantastic pizzeria called Brick. Brick is a lifesaver on certain nights when the chef of the house (aka ME) is not inclined to cook and the man of the house is Hangry after a surf.. Brick’s edible virtues are innumerable. They have gluten-free pizza crust. They have wine. They have prosciutto-wrapped dates (more on that later). And they have brunch on Sunday’s…

…which we attended a few weekends ago.

Upon arriving at Brick, we were surprised to see that we were the first ones there. It was early, but still. I was worried that it was a bad omen, as this place is usually packed. But I shouldn’t have worried. We were seated and drinks were brought promptly. The coffee at Brick was nothing to write home about, but it was drinkable. Not really saying much because I drink coffee all day every day. (“It’s all I do.”)

I ordered a very simple farmer’s market omlette. I was super pleased to see it accompanied by a lightly dressed green salad instead of a heaping pile of potatoes and bacon. Now, I love a good filling breakfast, but sometimes it’s nice to walk out of the restaurant instead of waddle. Sundays in San Clemente are also farmer’s market days, which is why this particular omlette was called the Farmer’s Market Omlette; Chock full of local, seasonal produce.

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While I wasn’t blown away by the flavor of the meal as a whole (honestly, I could’ve made the exact same thing at home) I did appreciate the local support and the general experience of having someone else make my breakfast.

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I (Geoff), on the other hand, took full advantage of the pizza flair and ordered a breakfast pizza (which gets rave reviews on Yelp). I was not disappointed. Bacon, fontina cheese (mmm…), eggs, potatoes and miscellaneous veggies, all served up piping hot on Brick’s signature gluten-free crust. It’s really, really thin and crispy and easily my favorite restaurant pizza crust in the world right now (and that includes GF and non-GF competition). Nikki had a couple of bites and agreed that it was very tasty.

One small note about the crust: It’s a tiny bit chewy so after a few slices, my jaw always seems to get tired. But kind of like a big piece of beef jerky, even though your jaw wants to stop chewing, you just can’t help yourself from taking another bite. It’s that good. Just something to be aware of.

Moving beyond breakfast (and beyond the realm of tasty) we enter a world of supernatural deliciousness.

Specifically, prosciutto-wrapped dates mentioned above.

Admittedly, we didn’t order these at brunch (we had them another time) so they technically might not belong in this episode of FCF. But they are simply too good not to mention when you talk about Brick.

Below is my interpretation of those unearthly bites of perfection. I briefly considered calling these Dates in a Pig Blanket, but I thought better of it. Gotta keep it real for the vegan/vegetarian crowd.

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Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Balsamic Drizzle
(aka, the most MIND-BLOWING edible morsel you will ever put in your mouth)

12-14 dates
1 pkg. prosciutto (6-7 slices)
Raw almond butter
1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette

  1. Pour the entire bottle of balsamic into a saucepan. Heat on medium/medium-low. Let the vinegar simmer until it begins to thicken. (Don’t let it get too thick or it will harden like candy.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 375.
  3. Using a knife, make a slit in the side of the dates. Remove the pit and spoon a tiny amount of almond butter into the date.
  4. Cut a slice of prosciutto in half and wrap the halves around the dates so that they are fully covered.
  5. Place dates on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 mins. Until the prosciutto is crispy.
  6. LET THEM COOL a bit before you pop one in your mouth. You will have big regrets if you don’t follow this step.
  7. Drizzle some balsamic over the dates before serving.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Merl Ledford says:

    We bought some date & coconut bars at Farmer’s Market this morning. . . guess I should have gone for the dates! We’ll get some at the Thursday night market (Downtown Visalia!) and try the recipe.

  2. Airi says:

    Tasty yet healthy pizza

  3. Joan Tucker says:

    What kind of prosciutto did you use in the date wraps. Is there a healthy prosciutto?

    1. nikkiledford says:

      I just used the trader joes prosciutto. The ingredients should only read : pork, salt. No fillers or nitrates or anything like that. There’s nothing inherently unhealthy about prosciutto just like bacon. It’s the quality that counts.

      1. Joan Tucker says:

        Thank you. I will be going to Trader Joes then. I love your Website.

      2. nikkiledford says:

        Thank you! I hope you love these dates as much as I do!

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