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Dandelion Greens with Bacon

Mark Bittman offers this recipe in How to Cook Everything (Macmillan 1998), calling it "one of the great food combinations ever." He says the dish must be served warm.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound top-quality slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

4 cups torn dandelion greens (or other bitter greens such as arugula, cress or frisee), washed and dried

1/3 cup top-quality red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the olive oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium. Add the bacon and cook slowly until it is crisp all over, 10 minutes or more. Add the shallot and cook a minute or two longer, until the shallot softens. Keep the bacon warm in the skillet.

Heat a salad bowl by filling it with hot water and letting it sit for a minute. Dry it and toss in the greens. Add the vinegar and mustard to the skillet, and bring just to a boil, stirring. Pour the liquid and the bacon over the greens, season to taste. It shouldn't need too much salt.

Serve immediately.

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