So it’s March in Wisconsin – which means we just got a half-foot of snow yesterday… I guess that means this winter inspired salad is still appropriate to post! It uses vegetables that are easier to find during cold winter months. I adapted the salad for what we had on hand and for what Matt and I enjoy.
I knew I would like this salad – but I was surprised at how much I did!. I know I’ll like any salad you throw roasted butternut squash and apple on. The black beans and chicken make it feel like a meal but I really enjoyed using chives as an herb and the creaminess of the black beans. The spinach rounded out the salad and the toasted pita added a crunch (although I had half of mine with hummus instead…) The only thing I will change when I make this again is to use a sharp cheddar or crumbled parmesan instead of the feta – It just wasn’t my favorite in this salad.
Recipe (Adapted from Real Simple)
For 2 salads
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash
- salt and pepper
- 1 pita
- 2 cups baby spinach
- ½ small radicchio head chopped
- ½ cup chopped gala apple
- ¼ cup drained and rinsed black beans
- 1 cooked chicken breast
- 3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives
Preheat oven to 450F. Toss the chopped butternut squash in ½-1 Tbsp olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.
To make the pita croutons lower the oven temperature to 350F and chop up the pita. Dress with ½ Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring at 3-5 minutes. Bakes until toasted and starting to turn golden brown. [Note: we didn’t use the whole pita for the 2 salads]
To make the dressing, combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, the red wine vinegar, and the chopped chives in a small mason jar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake the jar until the dressing is well combined. [Again, we didn’t use the all of the dressing for the 2 salads]
Mix the spinach and chopped radicchio. Top with chopped apple, roasted butternut squash, pita croutons, shredded or chopped chicken breast, black beans, feta cheese, and dress with the vinaigrette.
Behind the scenes
Here is a behind the scenes shot of how Matt photographed the salad. He started off by determining the framing of the photograph with respect to the wine glass and white background.
Then he took a test shot of the bowl to figure out the proper exposure.
When the salad was done we replaced the empty bowl, took a few quick shots of the salad, and then we quickly tore down the photography set and ate the salad :)