Pear and Shaved Chocolate Salad

We demo this wonderful salad as part of our all-chocolate program, a favorite for Valentine’s Day. The main course served with this is Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary.  The joy of eating an entire meal around chocolate is that it makes you feel so good, it almost doesn’t matter what the food tastes like!  Serve the dinner with the fabulous red wine from South Africa called The Chocolate Block.  Pricey, but worth it.

Dressing

1/3 C Riesling vinegar or white or golden Balsamic
2/3 C high quality extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Salad

2 oz high-quality bittersweet chocolate, 60% or higher
2-3 firm pears
6 C mixed salad greens, including, if available, arugula, sorrel, mache
Cacao nibs, toasted and roughly crushed (optional)
Place the vinegar into a small bowl or food processor, slowly add the olive oil, stirring or pulsing to blend; season with salt and pepper.

Shave chocolate, using a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer; refrigerate until ready to use. Core pears and slice into ¼-inch wedges, for a total of 24 wedges. Wash and dry salad greens and tear into pieces; toss with dressing to coat, about ½ C.

To serve, place a cup of greens on plate, fan four pear wedges over the greens; drizzle with additional dressing, top with optional cacao nibs and chocolate shavings. Serve immediately with a generous grinding of pepper.

8 servings

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