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    Dandelion Salad with Goat Cheese & Tomato Dressing

    Cultivated dandelion greens are a bit milder than their wild cousins, but they still have some bite—easily tamed with bacon and cheese in this salad.

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
    • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    • 8 ounces orecchiette, or small pasta shells, preferably whole-wheat
    • 2 slices bacon
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 cups chopped dandelion greens, or arugula, any tough stems removed
    • 2 cups baby spinach
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Instructions

    Step 1
    To prepare dressing: Combine goat cheese, vinegar and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Add 1/4 cup oil and tomatoes and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tarragon.
    Step 2
    To prepare salad: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
    Step 3
    Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Crumble when cool. Wipe out the pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil and onion and cook, stirring, over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
    Step 4
    When the bacon and onion are cool, toss them in a large bowl with dandelion greens (or arugula), spinach, Parmesan and 1/2 cup dressing. Drizzle more dressing over each serving, if desired. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining 1/2 cup dressing for up to 3 days.)

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