Although I love transitioning to more warming meals like comforting soups and stews during this time of year, I still crave fresh greens. I made this Autumn inspired salad the other week for Cliff and I and it was definitely a drool worthy meal; no boring salad over here. It hits every single flavour and texture you could want in a satisfying bowl of veggies. Imagine roasted Brussels sprouts and beets, peppery arugula, salty halloumi cheese, sweet dried cherries, tart crisp Granny Smith apples, crunchy sunflower seeds and an *incredible* maple balsamic dressing.
I love combining roasted vegetables with fresh salad ingredients; especially for cooler fall weather. In this case, we have roasted brussels sprouts and beets. When cutting the Brussels sprouts in half, some of the leaves will separate. Be sure to add those to the pan as well, they make delicious Brussels sprout chips. Half way through roasting the veggies you will need to flip them, this is when I recommend pulling those salty crispy chips from the pan and snacking on them as you prepare the rest of the recipe. Which brings us to the next treat of this salad, halloumi cheese.
If you haven’t tried halloumi before, now is your chance. It is a semi-hard brined (aka salty) cheese, often made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk. The brilliant thing about halloumi is its high melting point, which is why we can grill or fry it creating a golden outside and soft cheesey inside. Fortunately it can be typically found at any regular grocery store. The combination of the cheese, sweet dried cherries and tart granny smith apple is truly magical. Make sure you get as many bites as possible with all three. Your taste buds will thank you.
Just when you may have thought the roasted Brussels sprouts or halloumi cheese was the star of this salad, let me tell you about the maple dijon balsamic dressing because omg, its good. The secret is quickly sautéing the olive oil with red onion and garlic, which imparts such incredible flavour. Combining this garlicky oil with tangy balsamic and apple cider vinegar, sweet maple syrup and spicy dijon mustard is heavenly. I recommend doubling the dressing so you can enjoy it all week.
You can easily modify this recipe depending on your preferences or what you already have on hand. I have made some alternative suggestions in the notes below but feel free to get creative with this one. I enjoyed this Autumn salad over a bed of quinoa and Cliff had his with roasted chicken thighs.
I hope you give this recipe a try!
An Autumn inspired salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and beets, halloumi cheese, arugula, apples, dried cherries and sunflower seeds. Completed with a delicious maple dijon balsamic dressing. Serve as a side dish or as a main with quinoa or protein of choice. Enjoy!
- 4 cups (1 litre) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 medium beets, halved and cut into ¼ inch (1 cm) slices
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
- 1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) olive oil
- 8 ounces (250 g) halloumi cheese, cubed
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) dried tart cherries (or dried cranberries)
- 4-6 cups (1 to 1.5 litre) arugula
- 2 Granny Smith apples (or apple of choice), cored and sliced
- Optional: serve with quinoa
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp (22 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400℉ (205℃). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt on baking sheet. Spread evenly. Do the same with the beet slices on other baking sheet.
- Roast for 20 – 30 mins, flipping half way through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Dressing: Heat ⅓ cup (80 ml) olive oil in non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and stir briefly. Remove from heat and add contents of pan to small mixing bowl. Once oil has cooled slightly, add remaining dressing ingredients, whisking to combine. Set aside.
- To the same non-stick pan, set over medium heat, add halloumi. Brown two or more sides. Once cheese is golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
- To serve, place arugula in a serving dish. Arrange Brussels sprouts and beet slices on top. Drizzle with dressing (you may not need to use all of it) and place halloumi cubes, apple slices, dried cherries and seeds on top.
- Serve with a side of quinoa, or other protein of your choice.
- Make ahead and timing: The Brussels sprouts and beets can be roasted ahead of time. Refrigerate if made more than a few hours ahead of time. The dressing can also be made earlier in the day, but warm slightly before serving.
- Variations and Substitutions: Another dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins, figs) can be substituted for the cherries. Instead of sunflower seeds, use another seed or nut (pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds). Halloumi cheese can be substituted for feta cheese.
- Dietary Considerations: Vegetarian, Gluten-free