Summer Salad of Chicken, Goat Cheese, Green Beans, Tomatoes & Wheat Berries

This salad screams summer.  It has fresh sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes and barley all dressed up in a tangy mustard vinaigrette and topped with goat cheese.  It's a lovely base recipe to use for just about any veg you have around this summer as I added tomatoes here and you can swap in peppers or zucchini as well.

The recipe hails from Bon Appetit though I must say next time around I'd make some tweaks.  As to not confuse you I'll go ahead and write the recipe as I'd make it next time so you can all live in the 'know.'  The original didn't have enough dressing for me so I'll double that here so you're sure to get everything coated.  Also, you can top or mix in the goat cheese at the end. Personal preference really.  Mixing it it will cover everything whereas sprinkling it on top may have you looking just a tad bit fancier.

The original recipe also called for farro, which I couldn't find, so I opted for barley.  Next time around I'd use wheat berries- they offer more crunch and won't get lost and look like oatmeal in this salad.  Because of this health punch you could really make this sans chicken and serve it as a lovely vegetarian summer side or staple.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.  Serves 4-6

Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 1/2 cup wheat berries, cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked up with salt and pepper on a skillet
  • 12 ounces (or more to your liking) green beans 
  • 4 ears of corn, cut to get just the kernels
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups crumbled goat cheese (4 ounces)
1.  Cook the wheat berries and also to drain and cool.

2. Heat oil in a skillet and salt and pepper the chicken.  Cook the chicken then allow to cool and cut up into 1/2 inch cubes.

3. Boil salted water then blanch the green beans for 4 minutes.  Drain and pour into an ice bath then place the beans on a kitchen towel to cool.  Cut the beans into 1 inch pieces.

4. Halve the tomatoes and set aside.  Slice the green onions and set aside as well.

5. Once everything is cool enough combine the above and then make the dressing by first combining the oil, thyme, and salt in a jar.  Shake it well so that everything combines.  Add in the garlic and dijon and shake again.  Taste for salt and pepper and season as necessary.

6.  Sprinkle and mix the dressing over the rest of the ingredients then either top with goat cheese individually or add it all in and stir to combine.  You can make everything 1 day ahead and chill and then before serving add in your goat cheese.