There were lots of aha moments while we were developing The Complete Salad Cookbook, but using chopped chocolate in our Pinto Bean, Ancho, and Beef Salad with Pickled Poblanos was one of our favorites.
“I just remember taking my first bite and thinking, ‘Holy s***, this is good,’” recalled Sam Block, the test cook who developed the recipe.
It might seem unusual to see chocolate in a salad, but this one was inspired by Mexican cuisine, in which chocolate is a staple for savory dishes. According to Sam, the chocolate added a welcome bitterness to the full-flavored salad. It perked everything up, like when you sprinkle flake sea salt over a perfectly cooked steak.
“If you served it without telling anyone there was chocolate on it, they wouldn’t know,” she said. “It just helps boost all the flavors.”