Romance, Chocolate, Vanilla & Beetroot!
Hot Chèvre & Beetroot Salad with Chocolate and Vanilla Balsamic Drizzle
And so finally that romantic of all days has arrived, and I truly hope you have all been showered with chocolates and flowers if you are a gal or maybe steak and chips with a pint of real ale if you are a chap. I have suggested several recipes for the big day over the last week or so, from scallops and duck breasts to heart shaped Welsh griddle cakes, however I have left the quirkiest and best until last – my secret offering for the We Should Cocoa event for February has finally been revealed; the challenge that requires us to make a savoury vegetarian recipe that incorporates chocolate – easy eh? Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog must have slipped an extra dram in her cocoa when she dreamt up this challenge, but I LOVE a challenge and so the culinary puzzle was solved when I received a bottle of Chocolate and Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar from Taste Gourmet Spice Company. The vinegar was sent to me as review product to try and try it I did, on several occasions! It is quite simple FAB – this is what Taste Gourmet Spice has to say about it, and I concur 100% :
This 4 year aged balsamic vinegar is the perfect base for our real infusions. To make it thicker & richer we’ve reduced it, simulating an even longer ageing process further to put it in a class of its own. Naturally sweeter (with no sugar), richer, thicker & packed with flavour – there’s nothing quite like it! Infused with pure cacao nibs & powder with real vanilla pods, this surprising and interesting combination really works!
The Chocolate and Vanilla were pronounced without being overly sweet and it all really worked so well with the beetroot and goats cheese……it was sophisticated with an element of frivolity and fun, and we (my husband and I – royal wave) were both caught in the act of mopping the “drizzle” up with a slice of bread at the end of the meal……..I’d say that was a bit of a result! The beetroot was the last packet that was sent to me by Love Beetroot recently and it was pre-cooked and peeled, so no work there then, just slice and serve. I have to say I was a little smug about this entry, it was a pretty tough challenge after all, but as soon as I tasted the divine chocolatey vinegar, I knew that it would be the perfect adornment for a salad of roots and goaty cheese on toast – simple, easy and very romantic.
Okay, the beetroot heart may be a bit cheesy, but why not. I cannot emphasise how wonderful this salad was; the chocolate and vanilla flavours were just perfect with the sweet beetroot and salty cheese, and the contrast of hot and cold with soft beetroot and crunchy toast was a fabulous marriage. This salad would make an elegant starter for any formal meal as well as a light luncheon dish as it was served when I made it, with a glass of Chinon and some extra bread for mopping duties……..So, here it is, my vegetarian savoury recipe with chocolate, easy peasy! Have a wonderful day filled with hearts, cupids and fluffy cushions………see you tomorrow, Karen.