Sunday, 14 October 2012

Strawberry avocado and walnut salad with a chocolate vinaigrette

When you first hear the name of this salad, you might be forgiven for wondering if it is dinner or dessert. I just had to try it.  I served it with potato quinoa scones a few weeks back.  At first I feared I had got dinner all wrong.  E was even more wary and claimed the lion's share of scones as insurance.  Our concerns were all for nothing.  Dinner was enjoyed by all of us.

As usual the three of us enjoyed it in varying ways.  I loved all the flavours in the salad.  The sweet juicy strawberries, the creamy avocado and the intense chocolate vinaigrette.  I had far too much vinaigrette and used it for a couple of other salads over the next week.

Sylvia was unpredictable as ever.  She decided she loved the sour chocolate sauce and abandoned dinner to dip strawberries in the vinaigrette.  She did eat mot of her dinner later.

E enjoyed the salad but his love of any sauce continues to amaze me.  He enjoyed dipping his potato-quinoa scones into the vinaigrette.  (These are based on the traditional Scottish tatty scone but with some cooked quinoa thrown in.  We wondered what his Granny would have thought!)

For those who are wondering, the sauce not overly chocolatey.  It was quite intense, thanks in part to the walnut oil.  When I tasted it I could barely taste the chocolate but after I had eaten it there was a memory that I had eaten chocolate, like the shadow of a taste.  That is all I need in a savoury dish.

The recipe has a great lineage.  It was posted by Gina of Choosing Raw who served the vinaigrette with  beetroot, avocado and strawberries.  Then Janet of The Taste Space served the vinaigrette with strawberry avocado and mint.  I had intended to include mint and forgot.  Walnuts seemed just right for the salad for me.

I am sending this salad to Ren's Simple and in Season event, that is being hosted by Kate of Feeding Boys and a Firefighter.  Strawberries are plentiful right now so this was an interesting way to use them.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Oatmeal cutout cookies: on the good ship lollypop
Two years ago: GYO Tahini Caulflower and City Sights
Three years ago: Beauty and the Beast for World Bread Day
Four years ago: Broad Bean Pesto
 
Strawberry avocado and walnut salad with a chocolate vinaigrette
Adapted from The Taste Space and Choosing Raw
Serves 2

50g baby spinach leaves (a good handful)
1/2 small green capsicum, chopped
1/2 lebanese cucumber, chopped
150g strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
1/2 a large avocado, peeled and diced
handful (about 1/4 cup) walnuts

Balsamic chocolate vinaigrette:
(NB This is what I did.  Half of this would do for the salad)

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp walnut oil (or olive oil)
1 tbsp cocoa
1/4 tsp salt

Chop walnuts and lightly dry fry in a small frypan while you make the vinaigrette.  The walnuts are ready when they smell cooked and are starting to brown.  Set aside.

To make vinaigrette, lightly whisk all ingredients together with a fork.

Arrange salad ingredients in a bowl (or directly on the plates) in the order that they are written in the ingredients list.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.

On the stereo:
The songbook collection: Bert Bacharach and Hal David

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food October 2012.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my Vegan MoFo posts.

18 comments:

  1. Can't wait to try Balsamic Chocolate Vinaigrette, sounds wonderful. We're always looking for new ways to use flavonoid-rich cocoa. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Diana - this definitely is an interesting way to use cocoa

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  2. I love how everyone enjoyed the dressing in different ways. Glad to hear it was a success. :-)

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    1. Thanks Janet - one of the interesting things about blogging is seeing that there is no one way - we all do it our own way!

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  3. SO creative!! And what a beautiful table you set with those gorgeous flowers...

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    1. Thanks Astra - the flowers were lovely to have on our table - made it realise it was too long since we had flowers in the house

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  4. I must admit that I did a double take when I saw the name of the post! I'm glad that it was delicious though! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I did the same when I saw Gena's and Janet's posts - it would be a great ice breaker to serve this salad at a dinner party :-)

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  5. Oh my word! At last a salad I know I'd be happy to fall into nose first ;0)

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    1. Thanks Chele - am sure you would love it (though once it is mixed up the it not so pretty thanks to the brown of the cocoa!)

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  6. So glad this was a hit. Love your ranunculas - did you grow them?

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - wish I had ranunculas in my garden - they were from a farmers market

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  7. What a wonderful meal! I love the mix of slightly sweet salad with savoury scones and am intrigued by the chocolate dressing. If you all enjoyed it (albeit differently!) that also bodes well for general use - always helpful.

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    1. Thanks Kari - getting three thumbs up in our household for any meal is always a good sign

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  8. Cocoa in a salad dressing! I think I can see the appeal, especially when mixed with balsamic vinegar.

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    1. Thanks cindy - it was one of the most intense salad dressings I have had but good with the fruit and avocado

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  9. Oh my goodness... this sounds amazing! So excited by the idea of a chocolate salad dressing!

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    1. Thanks Lou - it is such a fun idea - I think E was quite concerned when I told him about it but he enjoyed it

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