Fall has forever been my favorite. You know in the movie Elf when Buddy says, “I like to smile. smiling’s my favorite.” That is sorta how I feel about fall, and yes, I will admit I walk around the house saying it just like Buddy the Elf, sans the elf slippers.
I mean what is not to love about crunchy colorful leaves, chilly mornings, rain boots and sprinkling cinnamon on everything?! I am so excited to be on the East Coast this season to finally experience a true fall, my first in a few years since college! So happy happy me!
After a month without a kitchen, making food with all the flavors and colors sounded just scrumptious to me! If I make salad, it has to be made into some amazing combination of colors, textures and flavors and this fall chop salad totally hit the spot!
This fall chop salad is full of sweet golden beets, spicy pepitas, pomegranate seeds, grilled chicken, basil, avocado and my favorite, pan seared halloumi cheese! Halloumi, what!? Halloumi cheese is a Greek style cheese that you can grill or pan sear and similar in taste to feta, but won’t crumble at all! It is one of my favorite salad toppers or just snacks, because yes I love cheese.
If you can’t handle the dairy, I recommend you substitute the cheese with crispy prosciutto so you can still get that good salty flavor in this salad.
Soup is totally supposed to be fall food right?! Well, I am not the biggest soup fan, so meet this fall salad—it wants to be friends with YOU!
Ok, so this salad might seem like it has a lot of moving parts and it kinda does, but if you prepare the individual pieces before it will come together rather simply. I made the pepitas and salad dressing the night before, and roasted the Brussels sprouts and beets the morning of, allowing them to chill. Then when dinner comes, you just cook your chicken, toss and eat. YUM!
And since you all always ask where I get most of my items, my favorite is online shopping, yes even for food! For pantry staples like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nuts and seeds I LOVE Thrive Market. First, their quality is amazing and second you simply cannot beat their prices. Plus it comes straight to your door, no lugging grocery bags around!
Be to check out Thrive Market today! (this is not sponsored by them, just me sharing helpful advice!)
Fall Chop Salad with Roasted Golden Beets, Pepitas, Halloumi and Pomegranate Seeds
Crunchy Maple Cayenne Pepitas
- 1 1/2 cup raw pepitas or pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Warm the oven to 325 degrees F and position the baking rack to the lowest position so the seeds do not burn. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix all ingredients together. Spread in an even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes minutes, watching carefully after 20 minutes so that the seeds do not burn.
- Set aside to cool completely, allowing the seeds to crunch up.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and use as desired.
Balsamic Rosemary Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Fall Chop Salad
- 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, chopped
- 3 golden beats, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast or thighs, boneless is easiest for salad
- 8 oz halloumi cheese
- 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 heads baby butter leaf lettuce
- micro greens
- olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh chopped rosemary for roasting
- Warm your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper. Place the Brussels sprouts and beets on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes and then cool and place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Prepare your chicken and halloumi buy seasoning with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary.
- Warm a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil to medium heat. Sear the halloumi cheese for 2 minutes then rotate to the other side and sear for an additional 2 minutes or until both sides are golden brown. Set aside.
- Add a bit more olive oil to the pan, and sear the chicken for 2 minutes, rotate to the other side and sear for an additional 2 minutes. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and into the warm oven for an additional 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. (You can also cook your chicken on the grill over medium high heat for 4 minutes per side, this is what we did).
- Assemble the salad by layering the baby lettuce leaves at the bottom of a very large serving bowl. Layer all the ingredients on top, finishing with the warm chicken and tossing with the salad dressing.