Early Spring Halloumi, Blackberry & Shoestring Butternut Squash Salad


I have to be honest: I’m ready for spring- in particular the weather and the produce! As I eagerly wait for warmer spring weather, this salad provided the perfect “transition” from winter to spring. With a subtle lemon-olive oil dressing and blackberries, it’s lighter and more spring-like. The grilled halloumi, roasted chickpeas, and fried butternut squash add in the heartiness and provide that “cold weather comfort” I still feel like I need right now!

Early Spring Halloumi, Blackberry & Shoestring Butternut Squash Salad

  • 1 box of arugula

  • 6 ounces halloumi, sliced

  • 10 ounces spiralized butternut squash (spiralize your own or buy some pre-sprialized)

  • 1 pint blackberries

  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets and roasted

  • Optional: Smoked Rubbed Chicken (see here)

  • Light Dressing of Your Choice (I did a combination of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, honey, sea salt, and pepper)

Step 1: Pan Fry the Halloumi. This step is pretty simple. Don’t add any oil or spray the pan. There’s enough oil in the cheese. I also recommend using a larger pan so you can fry them all at once. Place pan over medium heat and then place halloumi on pan and fry for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip and repeat until lightly browned on other side, about another 2 minutes.

Step 2: Fry Spiralized Butternut Squash

  • Air Fryer Option: I decided to use the air fryer we got for Christmas to fry the butternut squash. I tried in a few ways, but I had the most success by using a paper towel to dry off the squash as much as possible (excess water= not cripsy) and then placed the squash right in the fryer (no oil– I tried with oil and it was not as crispy at all) at 390 degrees for 10 minutes. I checked every 3 or so minutes and pulled out any pieces that were clearly browned and would burn if they continued to fry.

  • Pan Fry Option: Place a large pan on medium-heat heat. Coat pan generously with a high-heat oil (coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil- NOT extra virgin olive oil). Once it is hot and sizzling, add in squash- be sure to not stack the squash on top of itself- it’s better to do in batches. Season with salt and fry until brown.

Step 3: Assemble Salad! When making these for the week, I tried to section off the halloumi so it was not touching the arugula in an attempt to keep it as fresh as possible. Toss everything else together.

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