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“Piano” Salad

Salads 'n' Sides

“Piano” Salad


The Art Institute of Chicago has a great restaurant on the top level of the Art Institute’s Contemporary Wing.  In keeping with the season, I ordered their Summer Salad, and am I ever glad I did!  Spring mix, thinly-sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and radishes, couscous, and feta, all sparingly dressed with a shallot vinaigrette – a great summer lunch.  My “I love to cook” brain saw an immediate opportunity to ‘steal’ a work of art from the world’s best museum..


Spring mix greens (packaged works)
Zucchini, thinly sliced (it should be floppy)
Yellow squash, thinly sliced (it should be floppy, too)
Radishes, thinly sliced (given their structure, they won’t be as floppy)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Shallot vinaigrette


This one is easy, and the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time. Couscous is customarily purchased dry and packaged, and if you can boil water you can make it, then store it for us here, and elsewhere. In a bowl appropriate to the number of servings, gently toss the greens, zucchini, squash, radishes, and couscous. Sprinkle feta on top, drizzle with dressing, and enjoy!

This masterpiece of a salad not only makes for a full-course light lunch (maybe a few thin crackers on the side), but is great as a side with a heartier meal – it pairs well with roasted shrimp (hot or chilled), salmon (again, hot, chilled, or even smoked), and grilled chicken (a pairing I’ve yet to tackle, but I just know it’s gonna work). Try it and you’ll be most pleased with your own copy of an Art Institute of Chicago masterpiece.

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