Thursday, 23 February 2012

WSC Green Apple and White Chocolate Salad

'It's all getting a bit Heston Blumenthal around here,' said E as we ate our Green Apple and White Chocolate Salad.  Well maybe.  Except we had a small child swinging on the kitchen table.  I don't know much about Heston's food but I do know that his idea of fun is different to that of a small child.  White chocolate in a salad?  No says small child.  Thread a piece of penne pasta onto your finger?  Yes please, she says.

I was excited when Choclette announced that the We Should Cocoa theme was Vegetarian Savoury.  I was less excited when I deleted the post by hitting the back button twice - a really stupid feature of Blogger!  So all my lovely links are gone and I will see how many I can find again.

Discussions of chocolate in savoury cooking:
Chocolate savoury (vegetarian) recipes from my blog:
 Chocolate savoury (vegetarian) recipes from elsewhere:

White chocolate in any savoury food seemed like a crazy idea but intrigued me.  Dark chocolate makes sense because it gives great depth of flavour.  I would have loved the time to make a Tex Mex nutroast with a mole sauce but I was up to my eyeballs, and then Sylvia got sick.  I was interested to read an article explaining that white chocolate gives some of the fattiness that cheese adds to a dish.  But sweeter.  So I chose Green Apple and White Chocolate Salad because it was simple and used ingredients already available in my pantry.

The salad worked surprisingly well, served with pasta and sundried tomato pesto.  The key was an excellent dressing that had plenty of vinegar, mustard and salt to balance the sweetness of the white chocolate.  If I made it again I would use a more robust lettuce rather than the iceberg that was in the crisper.  I still found the white chocolate incredibly sweet and am by no means converted to using it much in savoury cooking.  Yet it made sense in this salad.  Even E liked it.  Sylvia was not keen.  She just took some of my apple so I used less than I intended.  But you can't be cross at a child for wanting to eat fresh fruit!  Even if she doesn't appreciate white chocolate in salad.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Earl Grey cupcakes and nutritous ganache
This time two years ago: Feta Scones in a Flash
This time three years ago: Palak Paneer
This time four years ago: HoTM #12 Prune and Bean Casserole

Green Apple and White Chocolate Salad
Adapted from csppcooks
serves 2 (with lots of leftover dressing)

1-2 handfuls of lettuce, shredded
1/2 to 1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 small handful of chopped walnuts, toasted
10-15g white chocolate, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup (will use less next time)
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp flaked sea salt

Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl until it is well mixed and slightly thickened (or shake in a little jar).  Arrange salad on the plate in the order on the list.  Drizzle with a generous amount of dressing.

On the Stereo:
Brood: My friend the chocolate cake

25 comments:

  1. It looks great and sounds really interesting too - I would never have considered white chocolate in a savoury setting, it always seems so sweet to me!

    I'm very impressed by the number of savoury chocolate recipes you already have on your blog - I guess the challenge for you was to come up with something new - the challenge for me is to come up with something at all!!!

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    1. Thanks C - white chocolate was a challenge but once I started looking I was intrigued by the idea

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  2. I am intrigued. I would never have thought to use chocolate in that way!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - I hadn't thought of it until I started looking for ideas for this event

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  3. Wow this is really different! I don't think I've ever seen chocolate in a salad before. I like the sound of white chocolate and apple together though.

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    1. Thanks Ashley - I had never thought of chocolate in a salad but there are a few recipes out there if you start looking

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  4. What an incredible idea. This whole post has me captivated because I am a wholehearted supporter of the concept of chocolate in savoury dishes and you've just given me a lot of new recipes to ponder! And I can imagine this salad working very well...I don't usually like white chocolate but I think the flavour would go brilliantly with apple.

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    1. Thanks Kari - white chocolate and apple definitely go well - probably would be even better in the middle of apple season rather than early on - the links give some great ideas of how chocolate can be used - hope maybe to see it in some of your savoury dishes

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  5. What a truly interesting combo! I would look twice and then order this if I saw it on a menu! :P

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - my eyes would be popping out of my head if I saw this on a menu - but it is very easy to make at home

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  6. This recipe for apple and white chocolate salad looks really good. I've never tried putting chocolate in a salad before. It's really creative. I wonder what it would like if you use spinach leaves rather than lettuce?

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    1. Thanks I Love Cooking - I would love to try this with baby spinach but just had some iceberg lettuce to use up

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  7. Is the original recipe American? They're very big on sweetness in salad - candied nuts feature often, so I can see how this would work in that context. You'd definitely need to pick your ingredients, though. I wouldn't want to eat white chocolate with capers, for example :P

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    1. Thanks Hannah - I would tend to agree with you about limitations with white chocolate but I did think about making a cauli, chilli and anchovy pasta recipe into a vegetarian one!!!! Is it the American influence then that I feel it is not so unusual to add a little sweetness to a salad or many savoury dishes - though I am not too fond of a lot of sweetness in my dinner

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  8. Johanna, I knew this challenge wouldn't be a problem for you. I'd never have thought of using white chocolate, but can see how it might work in a salad, especially with apple. You are brilliantly creative as all of your other chocolate recipes show. I didn't think to put things I've already made in my post - good idea, I might go back and amend it now. Shame you didn't have time to make your tex mex roast, but hope you will do it at some point. Sorry to hear Sylvia has been unwell and I really feel for you losing your blog post. I've done that before and you feel like giving up on the whole thing - I did anyway when blogger lost some of my posts last year. Thanks for participating and coming up with something completely different :)

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    1. Thanks Choclette - I am glad to deliver something that interested you - and am looking forward to the round up - I tend to add links to other recipes I find when I do a bit of research - it is useful to come back to later. Sylvia is better and the blog post wasn't too hard to redo when it was fresh in my mind - phew!

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  9. Sweet or savory, the idea appealed to me the second I read the recipe title! I'm guessing the lettuce is the savory aspect (since apple, chocolate, maple syrup etc are all sweet)? And that E is so funny! :D

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    1. Thanks Ricki - Actually the lettuce was quite bland - iceberg is such a background lettuce - it was more the flavours in the dressing that gave the savouriness - I started with a little and kept adding a bit more to get the right balance and would make it a little less sweet next time.

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  10. Wow what a fun idea! I never would have thought to pair white chocolate with savories but it sounds delicious!

    I need to try out some of those savory chocolate recipes also!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - chocolate in savoury cooking is something I usually do for fun but the more you do it the more you get a sense of where it works and begin to appreciate it

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  11. You are a pure genius! Totally eating more salad from now on ;0)

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    1. Thanks Chele - whoever said salad is just for dieters :-)

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  12. I would never have thought of putting white chocolate in a salad, but it looks and sounds delish. LOL at Sylvia rejecting white chocolate but playing with the penne quite happily. Have a great Sunday.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - after I made the salad I found that sylvia loved the white chocolate plain - wonder if she might have been more interested in the salad if she had realised it had chocolate in it

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  13. Fancy! :D I'm not experienced with chocolate in savory dishes, I only used cocoa powder with a lentil dish once. Your dish must have had an amazing variety of flavors and textures! :)

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