A Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette Is The Bold Dressing Your Fruit Salads Need

These sun-soaked summer days are best enjoyed with a fresh and vibrant bowl of fruit salad. By now your culinary arsenal is probably already loaded with recipes for this seasonal staple, but it never hurts to try something new every once in a while. It doesn't have to be anything too elaborate or out-of-the-ordinary. Just a twist will do, like a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette. Different and intriguing, yet still familiar enough to not throw the flavors off-balance, this condiment is the star ingredient you never knew your fruit salads needed.

When the depth of chocolate meets the sharp taste of balsamic vinegar, you get a sensational blend of complex flavors. The rich, bittersweet taste seamlessly melds into the tangy sweetness, layered with tart, fruity, and nutty notes. As they unfold on the palate, you may also notice a dark undertone settling in the back. This combination is pure decadence, even more so when they're coating the flavor-bursting fruits. You'll adore the contrast between the deep, intense dressing and the fruits' captivating freshness. Every forkful brings a bit of everything, so rest assured there's never a dull moment when the salad hits the table.

A dressing you can use for almost any fruit salad

A chocolate balsamic vinaigrette includes a few basics: Melted dark chocolate, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. You can emphasize the sweet tone with a dash of rice wine vinegar, or sprinkle in some minced garlic for an aromatic effect. If it's the tart taste you want to highlight, use pomegranate juice. Even simpler, just the two main ingredients and a bit of sugar adjusted to taste will also do. Give it a quick whisk to fuse everything, and there you have it: An intensely toothsome vinaigrette for your fruit salads.

Without a doubt, this dressing is a stellar substitute for regular balsamic vinaigrettes. This means you can drizzle it over a watermelon feta salad, where it brings an extra zing to the refreshing fruit and tangy cheese. In a salad filled with berries, cucumber, and leafy greens, its dark richness is the flavor thread that ties all the different flavor notes together. Glazed over a Caprese salad, it's a subtle yet special spin that takes the classic Italian dish to a new level.

That's not all, of course. Other fruits can join the party as well, such as pear, tangerine, orange, peach or anything else your heart desires. Sneak in some greens if you'd like. Kale, spinach, watercress, and arugula are surprisingly enjoyable when drenched in this dressing's sweet-tart goodness. Finally, for folks who like a bit of savoriness, prosciutto and ham are the perfect addition.