How to Make Chocolate Work in a Salad
Cocoa nibs > croutons.
Sure, it's easy enough to satisfy chocolate cravings by mainlining the stuff (just kidding, please don't inject chocolate into your veins)—but chocoholics looking for new ways to consume their favorite food should consider incorporating into the savory part of the meal. There's plenty of precedence—think: Mexican mole, that rich, chili-and-chocolate sauce that's unparalleled on grilled steaks, braised chicken and tacos.
"If you go back to the origin of chocolate, you can use it with spices," says Godiva's Executive Chef Chocolatier Thierry Muret (who dropped by this week to promote G by Godiva, the brand's new line of Mexican single-origin bars sourced from cacao grown in the Yucatan Peninsula). "But the spices always need to be subdued—they need to support the chocolate itself. You can do marvels with chocolate."
One surprising way to incorporate chocolate into mealtime? Garnish your salad.
"Imagine baby spinach, strawberry, Vidalia onions—now take cacao nibs and you toss them in," Muret says. "You put a light balsamic vinegar in and you toss everything together. You're going to have a little bit of a green note, the fruity note of the strawberry, the spice from the onions, and the crunch of the chocolate to marry everything together."
Even better, you don't even need cacao nibs on hand—"If you don't have cacao nibs, you can take a chocolate bar and grate it on top of your salad," Muret says.
As a 28-year veteran of Godiva, Muret has developed hundreds of products and recipes—but some of his best ideas have come from experimenting with chocolate at home.
"You can put a little bit of white chocolate in mussels," Muret tells us. "In the bouillon, you can put a little bit of white chocolate—and its sweetneess ties everything together. A good black cracked pepper in there and you're in heaven."