A winning combination of ingredients is celebrated in the recipe for “Chicken, Green Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese,” from the August 2009 issue of Bön Appetit. First, the farro. In Italy, farro is often eaten as a whole grain in soup. “Farro” is the Italian word for “spelt wheat,” a domesticated hulled-grain wheat. It features a mellow, nutty flavor, is easily digestible, and has a slightly higher protein content than wheat. The cooked texture resembles that of barley. I boiled my farro for 25 minutes.

This salad asks for only 8 oz. of chicken -- only a little bit to enhance the other winning elements here. I cooked my chicken for 8 minutes per side, until nicely brown on the outside. I confess to using frozen string beans and frozen corn in this salad (and I am not ashamed of this). It was easy enough to defrost these vegetables (in the microwave) before adding them to the salad. And these vegetables did retain a nice textural “pop.” Instead of using fresh marjoram, I used fresh thyme. This was fine. I added 1 tsp. salt to the salad.

The fresh shallot that was whisked into the dressing was such a bright and flavorful addition, actually elevating the salad to “wonderful” status. And the goat cheese? Such an enjoyable creaminess, here. You’ll be proud of this thoughtful salad. Try it.

Goat Cheese (4 oz.) = $2.67

RECIPE: easy to assemble, though not haphazard; a smart salad that satisfies
PREP TIME: salad can be assembled in 30 minutes or so, but then benefits from chilling for a while
TASTE: the bite of farro, the pop of string beans and corn, the bright smile of shallot make a happy salad

Let’s walk down a vegetarian path, next time. I’ll cook the “25-Minute Tunisian Vegetable Couscous,” from All Recipes, along with Nava Atlas’ “Sweet Potato-Poppy Seed Slaw” (recipe below). See my meal when you come back to my site on Tuesday, January 19.

Sweet Potato-Poppy Seed Slaw
4 to 6 servings

A rich raw cashew dressing, lots of poppy seeds, and above all, the surprise of raw sweet potato combine to make this an amazing variation on classic cole slaw.

1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1 1/2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel the sweet potato and cut into coarse chunks. In a food processor fitted with the grating blade grate the sweet potato, then transfer to a serving bowl.

Add the two cabbages, scallions, dill, and poppy seeds. Stir together.

Rinse the food processor, then fit with the regular blade. Place the cashews in the bowl and pulse on and off until they resemble course crumbs. Drizzle in the water, then let the processor run until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add the lemon juice and salt and process for a few more seconds.

Pour the cashew mixture over the slaw and stir together. Season with pepper. Let stand few minutes or up to an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.