Along the Grapevine

Wild Greens and Chocolate Balsamic Dressing



Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for bitter wild greens. Dr. Andrew Well does, and he has written a very persuasive argument why we should include things like dandelion leaves in our diet in this article.

This post offers a way to serve wild greens, mixed with other flavours to help your palate get used to the bitter flavours. It is a salad of mixed greens with strawberries, goat’s cheese and chocolate balsamic vinegar. The dressing itself is a mixture of sweet (honey) and bitter (chocolate). It is the perfect match for wild greens, or any greens for that matter.


I was first introduced to the idea of mixing chocolate with balsamic vinegar by a recipe posted recently by Simi at acasadisimi for another kind of salad all together which called for chocolate balsamic vinegar. I had never heard of chocolate balsamic before, so was determined to try it. I chose to make a salad dressing with those two flavours in it – and it worked like a charm. This is as easy as salad dressing gets, but with such a rich combination of flavours, it makes the simplest salad seem like an epicurean treat.

Chocolate Balsamic Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp cocoa powder

4 Tbsp liquid honey (I used buckwheat)

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk the first four ingredients together. Add the olive oil slowly continuing to whisk.

For the salad, I used a mixture of spring greens (including some dandelions, day lily sprouts and tubers), cucumber, crumbled goat’s cheese and strawberries.

And so this wild salad is my contribution to Angie’s Fiesta Friday

get-together where I always end up collecting new recipes and inspiration to take away with me. Can’t wait to see what treats are in store for me this week.





Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

32 thoughts on “Wild Greens and Chocolate Balsamic Dressing

  1. thanks a lot! you are very kind! greetings from Italy Simi


  2. Thank you Simi. I am so sad I didn’t learn about this combination before, but grateful to you for introducing it. I will continue to use and experiment with it – I can see that it could be used in so many ways. Greetings from Canada!


  3. In Italy, balsamic vinegar is very famous! and is also widely used in many recipes. The city is where the best product is called Modena. Congratulations for your recipe! nice idea! Sorry for my English!


  4. I have been to Modena, but was unaware of its famous vinegar. And your English is just fine. I read all your recipes in Italian, and it is really helping me with my reading comprehension – not to mention my cooking skills.


  5. Pingback: Agua de Jamaica Cooler with Jicama, Coconut Cream, Lime & Habanero! | birgerbird

  6. wow! Cocoa in the dressing, that’s new to me! Very unique.


  7. I was also intrigued when I saw Simi’s post, Hilda. How wonderful that you tried it out on this fabulous salad! It sounds delicious, such a great blend of ingredients!


  8. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #14 and Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 | The Novice Gardener

  9. Balsamic vinegar is my favorite way to dress a salad but with chocolate – oh yum 🙂


  10. Yum, chocolate balsamic sounds pretty amazing!!


  11. My mom loves bitter greens. I’ve always run away from them, but I’m learning to tolerate the bitterness!


  12. I’m curious about the dandelions greens. Do you harvest your own? I’m worried if I harvested my own in suburbia – I’d be ingesting all the horrible lawn chemicals that others spray. I picked them in France but was in a totally organic area. And unrelated but not entirely – I’ve seen dandelion greens at my local Loblaws of late.


    • Yes, I do harvest my own, but we live in the country and our own property is chemical free. The chemicals in suburbia are a concern – not sure what a safe distance from treated lawns is. Maybe someone out there can tell us. It’s the first I’ve heard of them being sold in Loblawas, but that is very interesting. If you don’t have a good source of dandelions, any other greens work just as well – even if it means getting some organic ones from the supermarket. Wild leeks, fiddleheads, asparagus, sorrel, etc.


  13. I used to not like bitter greens very much, but have come to enjoy them, and often. I love pairing bitter greens with balsamic, but I have not tried it with chocolate balsamic. It sounds unusual and fancy and a good balance to the bitterness. Beautiful salad!


  14. What a beautiful and unusual combination of flavours! I was also intrigued by Simi’s chocolate balsamic dressing, after reading your post, I will definitely try it soon. Your salad looks wonderful, I love the slight bitterness in greens and mixing them with strawberries is delicious and beautiful to look at. Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday!! 😀


  15. This sounds fabulous, Hilda! I am going to make it this week for our lunch salads! Yum! 😀


  16. This dressing is so simple but oh so effective. And I happen to like bitter leaves, like radicchio. I’ll just have to get to the superstore (horrors) to buy in organic cocoa. Any excuse to replenish it.


  17. What an interesting combination! I love the sound of bitter and sweet together! The salad sounds delicious.


  18. Fabulous recipe! I have paired strawberry with balsamic, but the additon of chocolate flavour is pure genius! 🙂


  19. Very interesting! It is great to come across new combinations for dressings and I look forward to trying this. 🙂


  20. Pingback: A Dessert of Wine and Roses | Along the Grapevine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s