Recipes & Advice
Spinach and Walnut Salad with Pears and Nib Vinaigrette

Serves 4

From The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg (Hyperion, 2006).

This beautiful and tasty fall salad recipe was created by Arnon Oren of Oren's Kitchen in Berkeley, California.

Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details


  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped SCHARFFEN BERGER Roasted Cacao Nibs
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces (about 10 cups) spinach leaves, any large stems removed, washed and dried
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted* walnuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

*Toast whole nuts on a baking sheet in a preheated 325degrees F oven for 7 to 10 minutes until they smell fragrant and taste toasted. Cool completely before using.


Place the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.

Add the nibs to the vinegar and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Place the spinach, pears, and walnuts, in a large bowl.  

Add 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and toss. 

Add additional dressing as necessary to lightly coat the greens, and serve.  (Reserve and remaining vinaigrette for another use.)

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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