Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicken, Squash, and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

I love chickpeas, I love tahini dressing, and I LOVE butternut squash.  Needless to say this recipe made me so happy.  I debated using spinach instead of romaine lettuce, but the other ingredients offer enough flavor that romaine is the best way to go.  I also left out the chives (because I don't love them) and ate the pita chips on the side.  The recipe was very simple and only took about 45 minutes to make.  It won't take you as long if you're a pro at peeling butternut squash, unlike me.  Maybe I need to buy a new peeler, or maybe it's just the butternut squash.  Regardless, I will not let my dislike of peeling the squash keep me from cooking it and neither should you!  

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds) peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
2  6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup tahini 
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 oz romaine hearts, cut into strips
1 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup pita chips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees, with the racks in the upper and lower thirds.  
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  
3. Roast on the bottom rack, tossing once, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Place the chicken on a second rimmed baking sheet and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Roast on the top rack until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then slice.
4. While the squash and chicken are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, oregano, one tablespoon of oil, 1/3 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  
5. Mix together the lettuce, chicken, squash and chickpeas.  Top with pita chips and chives if desired.  Serve with dressing.

Recipe adapted from February 2012 edition of Real Simple magazine.

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