2000s Recipes + Menus

Dandelion Salad with Lardons and Goat Cheese Phyllo Blossoms

  • Active time:50 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr
April 2005
This dish is a take on the bistro classic frisée salad with lardons. We recommend removing the ribs from the dandelion greens; though it’s a rather lengthy process, the result will be much more delicate.

For goat cheese blossoms

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 oz soft mild goat cheese (1 cup) at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 (17- by 12-inch) sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen

For salad

  • 6 oz slab bacon, rind discarded if necessary and bacon cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1-inch-wide pieces (to form lardons)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 lb dandelion greens, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves cut into 2-inch pieces (10 cups)
  • Special equipment:

    a muffin tin with 6 (1/2- or 1/3-cup) muffin cups

Make goat cheese blossoms:

  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Brush muffin cups with some melted butter.
  • Stir together goat cheese, cream, egg, mustard, and pepper in a bowl until combined well.
  • Cover phyllo with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel. Arrange 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface, then brush with some melted butter. Cut phyllo into 4 (8 1/2- by 6-inch) rectangles and arrange 2 of them one over the other in a crisscross pattern, then line a muffin cup with overlapping phyllo. Line another muffin cup with remaining 2 phyllo rectangles in same manner. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 phyllo sheets and melted butter, lining remaining 4 muffin cups.
  • Spoon goat cheese filling into cups and loosely gather edges of phyllo over center (if pieces of phyllo break off, arrange in center).
  • Bake phyllo blossoms until tops are golden brown and sides are golden, 25 to 35 minutes, then transfer from pan to a rack to cool slightly.

Prepare salad while goat cheese blossoms bake:

  • Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 12 minutes. If necessary pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat. Add oil and shallot to skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, quickly stirring and scraping up brown bits, then stir in sugar and salt. Immediately pour hot dressing and bacon over dandelion greens in a large bowl and toss well.
  • Divide salad among plates and put a warm goat cheese blossom alongside each salad. Serve immediately.
Cooks' notes:
Dandelion greens can be washed and trimmed 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag lined with dampened paper towels. Bacon can be cut 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Goat cheese phyllo blossoms can be baked 3 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat in a preheated 350F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
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