Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Dressing

This is another creation inspired by my trip to the farmers market. There is a local shop--The Tasteful Olive--that sells infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and even better is they offer free samples of every single item they stock. I absolutely fell in love with the chocolate infused balsamic vinegar. Needless to say, my first thought was of strawberries. Coupled with the brand new spinach I had just purchased from a local farmer, this salad was born.

I am particularly proud of this combination. The dressing is tangy with just a touch of sweet, and the chocolate flavor rests beautifully in the background of the palate. Extra acidity and sweetness come from the strawberries, and the contrast of the creamy goat cheese and crunchy walnuts makes this salad feel more like a dessert than rabbit food.

If you can't (or simply don't want to) find chocolate balsamic vinegar, you can approximate the flavor by combining 1 1/2 tbs of balsamic vinegar with 1/2 tbs dark chocolate liquor. It'll be a little sweeter, so I recommend using half the agave or honey.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

2 tbs chocolate infused balsamic vinegar
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp agave nectar or 2 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
4 c spinach
1 c strawberries, sliced
1/4 c goat cheese
1/4 c walnuts, coarsely chopped
fresh cracked pepper

Whisk together vinegar, oil, nectar, and salt in a small bowl until well-combined. Set aside.

Combine spinach, strawberries, cheese, and walnuts in a salad bowl. Just before serving, toss with dressing and fresh cracked pepper. Serves 4.


  1. I have GOT to check out that store soon.

  2. ha ha.... .you used 'approximate' in a recipe.... oh how our terms infiltrate other worlds!! love it.

  3. Dare I say that it is well-approximated? DARE I? ;)

  4. hahahahaha............ only if you're speaking about edges..... hhhahahahahahahhhahahahah