Home > Creative Cooking Crew Challenge > Savory Spinach Salad with Bacon, Dates, Blue Cheese, Nuts and a Chocolate-Ginger Vinaigrette | A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

Nova_7230January 13, 2016spinach saladWhen chocolate was announced as this month’s theme, I thought “not for me“. I’m a savory gal. But I hated to miss out on the challenge and the opportunity to shake up the pages of FOODalogue which have lain dormant for a month.

So, I played a game of “what if?” employing my usual methodology … whatever was on-hand.

The ingredients presented here created a flavorful and perfectly balanced salad. It was fresh and elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.

Salad Ingredients: Fresh hand-picked spinach, scallions, Medjool Dates, creamy blue cheese, crumbled bacon, slivered almonds.
Nova_7225January 13, 2016spinach salad

Vinaigrette: White balsamic glaze, lemon juice, grated fresh ginger, ground red peppercorns, a mashed dark chocolate candy with a liquid coffee filling from Poland (it was in my Xmas stocking). Everything was whisked together and left to sit a bit.

Nova_7223January 13, 2016spinach salad

Finishing Touch: Shavings from a Modica chocolate bar (brought back from my trip to Sicily this past October).

NOTE: The age of the chocolates speaks to how long they last in my kitchen. While I like chocolate (only dark), I don’t crave it and it can sit for a while. Next month, it’s bourbon and that presents an even bigger challenge. Not something I drink, Not something I have in my home bar.

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12 Comments, RSS

  • Liz

    says on:
    January 14, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Looks great and sounds yummy!

  • sandra axelrod

    says on:
    January 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Your recipes are always so creative!
    sandra axelrod recently posted..Dating and Weight LossMy Profile

    • Joan Nova

      says on:
      January 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Kind of you to say — it’s the creative process that keeps me interested and, of course, the end result!

  • Victoria of Flavors of the Sun

    says on:
    January 15, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Chocolate Vinaigrette? What’s not to love? Having lived in Mexico for so long, I am long accustomed to finding chocolate in savory dishes (moles, hot chocolate with chiles, etc), and love it that way. As ever, Joan, you inspire.

  • Sally - My Custard Pie

    says on:
    January 17, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Joan – my tastebuds and your tastebuds would get on …. so to speak! I’m a savoury person, prefer dark chocolate … and yes it lasts ages in my kitchen. I would never have thought of putting chocolate in a salad – totally intrigued. Yay to blue cheese. Happy New Year.

    • Joan Nova

      says on:
      January 17, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Thanks. So nice to hear from you.

  • Norma

    says on:
    January 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Your always surprising. This salad is a must to try.
    Norma recently posted..GALAKTOBOUREKO – GREEK CUSTARD PIEMy Profile

    • Joan Nova

      says on:
      January 22, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you Norma. Looking forward to seeing what you do!

  • angela@spinachtiger

    says on:
    January 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I love this idea. And, it would be good with the dates. I once shaved white chocolate on a salad that had berries. Divine. I still want to post that eggplant chocolate some day! I would love to peek inside that Chocolates from Sicily book too.

  • Joan Nova

    says on:
    January 30, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Thanks Angela.

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