Raspberry Salad with Cocoa Balsamic Dressing

A few years ago, I went to a wonderful local French restaurant called Chez Sophie with my French class. It is a lovely little bistro with all sorts of delicious items. I had a heck of a time deciding between a veggie quiche or a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. But what really caught my attention was a simple romaine salad with a chocolate balsamic viniagrette. Chocolate…in a salad!? I was incredibly intrigued and ended up ordering it to enjoy with a piece of quiche. My curiosity was rewarded, as the salad was wonderful. The dressing was bittersweet + slightly acidic. It paired up incredibly well with the salty parmesan curls used as a garnish. Yum!
For Valentine’s Day this year, I thought I would try and re-create the salad at home to share with my Valentine :) To make it extra special and romantic, I added some fresh raspberries and slivered almonds. I’m not sure if it is possible for a salad to be romantic, but there’s something romantic about fresh raspberries and luscious chocolate. In my opinion, this combination is pure decadence and perfect for a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day.
Cocoa Balsamic Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of honey (or sugar)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mix of baby romaine, baby spinach and arugula
  • pint of fresh raspberries (or strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • bittersweet chocolate curls or cocoa nibs for garnish
1. In a small jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake to mix and set aside. Allow the dressing to sit for 10 minutes for maximum flavour.
2. In a salad bowl, toss the greens, raspberries, slivered almonds and parmesan cheese. Drizzle the cocoa balsamic dressing over top and toss. Garnish with chocolate curls or cocoa nibs.
Note: enjoy this salad with a glass of red wine :)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Source: inspired by a salad at Chez Sophie in Winnipeg


  1. says

    oh lady, salads can be romantic for sure! :) i love the idea of chocolate salad dressing, especially when paired with almonds and raspberries. it’s basically a dessert- in salad form!

    • says

      I think the chocolate makes this salad extra special for a romantic dinner for two. It’s something decadent and out-of-the-norm. I’m glad you agree that salads can be romantic! *hehe* :)

    • says

      I’m glad you agree! I just thought this salad would be perfect for a romantic dinner. I have to admit, I ate a huge portion of raspberries while making this salad. *hehe* So yummy!

  2. says

    Wow, that sounds like an amazing combination – one I never would have thought of myself for a salad! This makes me wish I was hosting a dinner party for Valentine’s Day so that I could serve this and impress everyone!

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