A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: White Bean & Artichoke Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday: White Bean & Artichoke Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

This week's recipe is a bit of a cheat as it is technically my Wednesday lunch and not our Wednesday dinner.  My parents were in town for the first part of this week which meant that we had a chance to try some new restaurants with them-- one of our favorite things to do!  On Sunday night we went to Osteria Via Stato and had a great Italian dinner.  On Monday we went to Epic and had one of the best meals that I have eaten since living in Chicago.  The sea basss was amazing and even though Dad was a little freaked out by the more avant garde menu choices, he seemed very happy with the customized surf and turf that he ordered.  I'd highly reccomend a visit to this restaurant the next time you are looking for a cool somewhat upscale dinner venue in Chicago.
Since we have been dining out a lot this week I haven't had many opportunities to make dinner at home.  I have also clearly not been sticking to my healthy eating plan, so tonight's actual Wednesday dinner will be a really boring grilled chicken and vegetables.  However, I did want to share a great salad that I came up with for lunch.  It's a spin on an anitpasti salad, but those usually have tons of  cheese and processed meats in them.  This salad includes healthy protein and some fresh veggies-- exactly what I need to get back on track this week!  This is more of a What's For Lunch Wednesday, I suppose.

Please excuse the "plating."  This is an actual lunch.

White Bean & Artichoke Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

  • 4 cups mixed greens with spinach
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup white cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 3/4 cup marianted quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 4 Tbs. prepared pesto (homemade is best, but I used the reduced fat kind you can find in the dairy aisle)
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbs. crumbled goat cheese or grated parmesan
Layer first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Separately in a small bowl, whisk together pesto and vinegar until smooth.  Depending on how thick the pesto you are using is, you may need to add more pesto or vinegar in order to reach the desired consistency.  Once combined, pour over the salad mixture and toss to coat.  Divide into two bowls (this makes two servings) and top with cheese.  Serve with ciabatta or other crusty bread and enjoy!

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