Dandelion Salad With Beets, Bacon and Goat Cheese Toasts
- Make 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.
- Cut 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.
- Put 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.
- Paint 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.
- Garnish 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.
- The beets can be cooked and peeled up to 2 days ahead. Put them in a low-sided baking dish in one layer (cut them in half vertically if very large), add 1 or 2 cups water and cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. (Alternatively, simmer beets on the stovetop.) Remove and let cool slightly, but peel while still warm — the skins should slip right off with gentle pressure. If you are going to use them right away, cut them in wedges and dress with vinaigrette. Otherwise, wrap well and refrigerate.