The online book club I participate in does quarterly challenges to get everyone reading outside of their comfort zone. One of this quarter’s challenges was to read a book about food and then cook a meal based on it. Pretty fun, right?
I chose to read Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond. The book follows the author’s journey to uncover the truth about the candy business – and how much he really loves candy. As a nod to the book, I decided to do an all-chocolate meal.
We started with this salad. The salad alone is really awesome but the vinaigrette makes it extra special. You can absolutley tell it’s chocolate, but it’s not over-powering or too sweet. It would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day meal.
Valentine’s Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette
(from The City Sisters)
Walnut halves and pieces
Toss together spinach and arugala. Top with sliced cucumbers, strawberries, feta and walnuts.
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. castor sugar
1/4 c. dark chocolate chip
In a small saucepan, combine vinegar and sugar over low heat until sugar is disolved. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Leave to cool at room temperature. Do not refrigerate – the chocolate with solidify. Stir gently before serving.
Note: Castor sugar is finer than regular sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar. You can make your own castor sugar by running some regular sugar through a food processor for a few seconds.