I came across this recipe the other day, and I knew my family would love it! As with most recipes, I took my own slant on it – basically I made a few substitutions and deletions due to what was in my refrigerator. I would love to make this salad exactly as the recipe reads, it sounds delicious.I used my favorite bottled Italian vinaigrette. We do not keep orange juice in the house, and I did not want to run to the store to buy some 🙂 For the salad itself, I used mixed salad greens, I skipped the sun-dried tomatoes (I thought I had a jar – but nope), and I used fontina cheese cut into small cubes – again because I had it in the fridge. Oh, and I added chopped red bell pepper.
Even though I made so many changes – it was delicious! The chicken and white beans are complemented by the crunchy celery and zucchini, red bell pepper added a sweetness, and then just a touch of cheese for a creamy texture. Yum!
White Bean & Chicken Salad
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (see Tip)
- 2 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 2 small)
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1/4 cup finely diced ricotta salata, halloumi (see Shopping Tip, above) or feta cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped, well-drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus whole basil leaves for garnish
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
- 2 cups torn escarole or romaine lettuce
- 2 cups torn radicchio leaves
- To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a chef’s knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add 6 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
- To prepare salad: Combine beans, chicken, zucchini (and/or summer squash), celery, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) in a large bowl until well blended. Add chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired.
- Toss the remaining vinaigrette with escarole (or romaine) and radicchio in a medium bowl. Serve the salad on the greens, garnished with fresh basil leaves.