Chocolate Orange Salad with Pomegranates, Almonds and Creama Kasa

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by Lori of Burp! Where Food Happens

 

Snugly situated among the green hills and fertile pastures of central Wisconsin, Carr Valley Cheese is America’s most awarded artisan cheese company, having been gilded with over 225 national and international awards.

For more than a century, Carr Valley Cheese has been pairing old-world traditions with new-world creativity to create an amazing variety of delicious cheeses. From traditional Cheddars and delightfully squeaky cheese curds to less common mixed-milk varieties like Benedictine, American Originals like Gran Canaria, and deliciously complex cave-aged cheeses like Marisa, Carr Valley seems to do it all.

One of their delicious cheeses, made in 8-lb. wheels is Creama Kasa, a triple cream cow’s milk cheese that completely lives up to its name. Soft and buttery, with a surprisingly piquant flavor and a texture that’s slightly firmer than Brie, the cheese is aptly described by the folks over at Carr Valley as “pure heaven.”

While the cheese makes a stunning addition to any cheese plate, it’s also perfectly delicious when spread on bread or melted atop your favorite sandwich. But one of our favorite ways to enjoy Creama Kasa is in a simple seasonal salad.

If you’re the sort of chocolate lover who has a difficult time waiting for dessert, you’ll love this salad, which combines the best of sweet and savory all in one place. It’s also one of the most pleasant ways to get your chocolate (and cheese) fix without breaking any of those New Year’s resolutions you made to yourself.

Dressed with a sweet chocolate orange balsamic dressing, mixed greens come to life with a bold scattering of toasted almonds, a few slices of tart and beautiful blood orange, a sprinkling of jewel-toned pomegranate seeds, and a slice or two of creamy cheese. Although it tends toward the sweet side, the salad is bold and balanced – with sour hints of citrus and pomegranate balancing out the sweetness of the balsamic, and the buttery-yet-piquant flavors of the cheese rounding out the bitterness of the deep chocolate notes.

You’ll almost be tempted to forget that salad is good for you!

Chocolate Orange Salad with Pomegranates, Almonds & Creama Kasa

by Burp! Where Food Happens

Serves 6

Salad
10 oz. herb salad or spring mix
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 small blood oranges, peeled and sectioned
6 oz. Wisconsin Creama Kasa* cheese, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Deep dark Chocolate Orange Balsamic Dressing (recipe follows)

Assemble the salads by arranging equal portions of greens on medium salad plates.  Sprinkle with almonds, pomegranate seeds, and orange sections.  Lightly drizzle* each salad with chocolate orange dressing, sprinkle with additional black pepper (if desired), and adorn with 1-2 slices of the Creama Kasa cheese.

*Note: Though you might be tempted, resist over-dressing this salad. Not only is the chocolate dressing quite sweet, it can be overwhelming if used in excess. 1-2 teaspoons should be all you need for a serving. If you think your guests might enjoy a bit more of the dressing, feel free to pass a cruet of dressing at the table alongside the salad.

Deep Dark Chocolate Orange Balsamic Dressing
1/2 cup chocolate balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup orange olive oil
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in a cruet or small glass jar. Shake to emulsify.

*Wisconsin Cocoa Cardona is the Carr Valley Cheese pictured in the salad above. It can be substituted for the Creama Kasa, but is a goat’s milk cheese, not a cow’s milk cheese.

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