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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing

La Petite Maison Verte: Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing

Public Service Announcement:  Bathing-suit season is coming.  It just is, you can't stop it.  This salad is tasty, satisfying and figure-friendly so you don't have to starve yourself in order to fit into last years summer sundresses.  You're welcome.

This started out as a recipe from Real Simple's February 2012 issue but numerous modifications ended up being made due to lacking some of the ingredients that I thought I had upon setting out to make it.  I seem to be continuing with my Squash and Black Beans theme - see it here and here, but this time it wasn't intentional.  I have no idea where that can of garbanzo beans ended up :-/

BUT my version was so good, I wouldn't hesitate to make it again.

I adapted the Tahini dressing using some really lovely Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and a White Balsamic Vinegar that I received as a Christmas present.  The original recipe called for plain olive oil and lemon juice, but I was out of lemons so I snuck the lemon flavor in using the infused olive oil and added the white balsamic vinegar for the acid component.  It was delicious, but if you don't have those items just go back to the original recipe.

For the chicken, I didn't follow Real Simple's method at all, rather I used my own favorite (and delicious, and easy) Buttermilk-Herb Chicken recipe (this time, I used a combination of parsley and thyme for the herbs).  I marinated the butterflied boneless, skinless chicken breast for about 3 or 4 hours, then broiled the pieces on high for about 9-10 minutes.  They were perfectly juicy on the inside but a little crisp on the outside, just the way I like it.

I filled out the salad with more veggies, because really, can you ever have too many veggies?  Nope.  Oh, and I also added crumbled goat cheese because it just seemed like the right thing to do.  I didn't regret it one bit.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salad with Buttermilk-Herb Chicken, Goat Cheese and Tahini Dressing
serves 2
adapted from Real Simple

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1'' chunks
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 ground black pepper

1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon meyer lemon infused olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 cups lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 english cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 of a (15.5 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Buttermilk-Herb Chicken, cooked and sliced - see my recipe here

Heat oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.  Roast 25-35 minutes, flipping the pieces once after 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon-infused olive oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

To serve:  Divide the lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and green onions among the plates and top with the black beans, roasted squash, crumbled goat cheese, and the sliced, cooked chicken.  Drizzle with the dressing.

And I may have ended the evening with a palm-full of these delightful little morsels.

I'm really kicking myself for not picking up an entire case of them at Trader Joe's.  They are about 3 times cheaper at TJ's than Sweet Riot's version and they are equally as amazing.  But maybe it's a good thing that I didn't, you know, with bikini season on the horizon and all.  

Are you ready to start rocking the sandals, tank tops and bikinis yet?  What is your favorite meal when you're trying to fit back into those summer clothes of yours?


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