February 11, 2014

Raspberry Salad or Flatbread with Cocoa Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

With Valentine's Day coming up this week, I've been trying to come up with a cute Valentines-themed recipe to celebrate the holiday with.

In the past, I've made this miniature raw beet cheesecake, these baked banana, chocolate and strawberry wontons, and this pretty pink beet pasta, but this year I just couldn't seem to come up with anything unique that hasn't already been done.

So I gave up on trying to think of a heart-shaped or red-coloured dessert and instead decided to make something to serve as part of your Valentine's dinner menu - this elegant and tasty salad!


I happened to remember Courtney from The Fig Tree's Valentine's Day post from last year when she shared a raspberry salad with cocoa-balsamic dressing. I thought it was such a creative idea to use cocoa powder in a salad dressing, and of course her salad looked gorgeous too!

For my version, I made a couple of slight modifications to the dressing, and for the salad itself I used candied almonds to add more sweetness, goat cheese instead of parmesan, and added some fresh mint and cacao nibs. It may sound like a strange combination of ingredients, but I thought everything worked really well together!

I loved the crunch from the almonds and cacao nibs, and the raspberries paired perfectly with the subtle chocolate notes in the dressing. It almost tasted like eating dessert, but in the form of a salad that you can start off your dinner with instead!


Or if a salad doesn't fit into your menu, another option is to turn this into an easy flatbread - just toast a piece of naan bread in the oven, spread some goat cheese on it, and top with the rest of the salad ingredients. I usually like to have bread with my salad anyway, so this was a fun way to eat both together!

After trying the recipe both ways, I couldn't decide whether I liked the salad version or the flatbread best!

Whether you plan on celebrating Valentine's Day or not, this would still be a nice appetizer to impress a date or to share with a friend or loved one. I actually haven't figured out what I'll be eating on the day itself, but I do plan on making cookies to share - after all, even if a lot of people hate Valentine's Day, most of them still like cookies!



Raspberry Almond Salad or Flatbread with Cocoa-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from The Fig Tree

2 tbsp slivered almonds
1 tsp sugar
~4 cups spring mix or baby greens
fresh raspberries
1-2 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
2-3 tsp cacao nibs (I used these coconut cacao nibs)
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 pieces of naan bread (optional for flatbread)

Dressing
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp balsamic Dijon mustard (or whole grain Dijon)
Salt and pepper


If making the flatbread, preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and sugar and toast for a few minutes, stirring often as the sugar starts to melt and coat the almonds. Keep a close eye on them and once the almonds are lightly toasted, remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.

To make the dressing, whisk together the first five ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place salad greens in a large bowl and toss with about a couple tablespoons of the dressing.

For salad: arrange dressed greens on two plates. Top each serving with a handful of raspberries (cut them in half first if they’re large), the goat cheese, cacao nibs, mint, and candied almonds. Drizzle remaining dressing over top.

For flatbread: Place two pieces of naan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Spread the goat cheese over the naan, then top with the dressed salad greens, the raspberries, cacao nibs, mint, and candied almonds. Drizzle remaining dressing over top. Slice into pieces (I found it easier to slice the naan before adding the toppings).


Makes 2 servings


5 comments:

  1. I have wanted to try Courtney's version of this for a while now and now this gives me more motivation to try both versions! This would be the perfect component of a Valentines meal!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Walnuts compete with unhealthy fats and protect blood vessels and the heart Do you want to buy walnut online? You can order walnuts at Allnuts! We do not have to present walnuts to the average consumer. Almost everyone grew up with these brain-shaped fruits with a very recognizable shell. If you would ask most people which walnut trees they know, the walnut tree would certainly come first. For many consumers this note is also known as the walnut. Walnoten

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hazelnuts ensure a healthy heart and limit cholesterol levels in the body. Do you want to buy hazelnuts online? You can order hazelnuts naturally with allnuts. Everyone knows the hazelnut. This nut grows on a shrub native to Belgium and the Netherlands that we know as the hazel. The well-known shrub is found in all areas with a temperate climate. Perhaps less well known is that, according to some scientists, the hazelnut is related to the birch. Others prefer to treat the hazel as a separate plant family. Whatever the case, the hazelnut is in any case a nut from us. Just like the birch, the hazel bears the characteristic catkins in the spring. Hazelnoten

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brazil nuts are a blessing for your line and rich in proteins, vitamins and selenium. Do you want to buy Brazil nuts online? You can order Brazil nuts at Allnuts! The extremely healthy Brazil nuts are also known as Amazonian nuts or Brazil nuts. The name Brazil nut is derived from the Brazilian province of Para. This way we immediately know where these nuts come from. The trees on which these fruits grow are mainly found in Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. In addition, it is important to know that the trees stand mainly along the major rivers that flow through these countries: Amazon, Rio Negro, Rio Vaupés and the Orinoco. In addition, it is necessary that the trees are not in a flood area and can enjoy a temperature that averages 28 ° C. Paranoten

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pistachio nuts are super tasty and are packed with proteins, healthy fats and minerals. Do you want to buy pistachio nuts online? You can order pistachio nuts at Allnuts! Everyone has of course heard of pistachio nuts. These nuts are the best known of the pistachio ice cream. In other cultures these nuts are then salted with the tea. The least you can say about pistachio nuts is that they are a versatile product. Pistachio nuts naturally have a greenish color and are wedged between two half-open shells. They look special that way. Pistachio nuts grow on a small tree that belongs to the wig tree family. The pistachio tree can reach a height of around 10 meters. This tree species has up to 1000 species of which the pistachio tree is only one. The cashmere tree from which we know the cashew nuts is also part of this botanical family. The pistachio tree is from Asia. The name pistachio itself also comes from Asia and more specifically from Farsi. Farsi is the language spoken in Iran. Pistachios are called 'pista' there. Although the trees are exotic, pistachio nuts are now also grown in Europe. Pistachio trees can also be planted in Europe and reach full growth. Pistachenoten

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...