Dandelion Salad With Beets, Bacon and Goat Cheese Toasts
Tender dandelion leaves make a sensational salad. This one is modeled after a classic Paris bistro salad, but the vinaigrette has fresh ginger and lime juice to stand up to dandelions' faintly bitter flavor. It still tastes very French, as do the goat cheese toasts.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
- 2teaspoons grated ginger
- 2tablespoons lime juice
- 1tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 4tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for goat cheese toasts
- 6medium beets, cooked and peeled (see note)
- 6ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch-thick lardons
- 6baguette slices
- 6ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 6ounces dandelion greens, trimmed, washed and dried
- 11-minute hard-cooked eggs, peeled, quartered and lightly seasoned
Step 1Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, lime juice, sherry vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2Cut the beets into ¾-inch wedges. Put them in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dress with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to coat well. Set aside for at least 10 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Step 3Put a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lardons and let them begin to brown and sizzle, then reduce heat and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or so, until lardons are barely crisp and lightly browned. Remove lardons from pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
Step 4Paint baguette slices lightly on both sides with olive oil and top each with a slice of goat cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or so until bread is toasted and cheese has softened slightly. Put dandelion greens in a large shallow bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss gently to coat. Add up to 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss to coat leaves well. Divide dressed leaves among 6 plates.
Step 5Garnish each plate with beets, bacon, hard-cooked eggs and goat cheese toast. Alternatively, serve family style with garnishes scattered over the top of the salad.