Pumpkin Spice Halloumi with Fall Vegetables
Let’s talk about pumpkin spice. The PSL (pumpkin spice lattes). The #basicbetch necessity has now turned into a national phenomenon, and for good reason. Pumpkin spice tastes good, no matter how you slice it. But, not going to lie, I’m tired of the super sugary PSL drinks, but I’m not over pumpkin spice. While I do think it’s ridiculous that there’s now a national holiday for the seasoning (*eye roll*) I also can’t pass down a good opportunity to use it in my own cooking.
To break down this trendy spice for you, pumpkin pie spice consists of the following: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground allspice, and ground cloves. Yes, you can make your own. And yes, you can buy it already pre-made and ready for spicing up lattes. I used to use it for two things: coffee and putting on apple slices. However, after whipping up some Jerk salmon tacos and realizing that pumpkin pie spice has a similar essence to jerk seasoning (with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) I realized it could also be used for cooking with savory ingredients.
Enter my delicious pumpkin spice halloumi! Why halloumi? Well, every time I order halloumi, I love when it’s paired with honey. It’s such a salty, firm cheese, that it goes well with something sweet and soft. It also sears extremely nicely, which allows for seasoning (similar to the way you would season meat!) I decided to pair it with broccoli and acorn squash, well, because that’s what I had in my fridge. But I also love these vegetables because they are hearty and in my opinion, they are pretty neutral and go with a lot of different flavors. To top everything off, I put some pomegranate seeds and juice over the entire dish, to pull together all of the flavors and add a little bit of tangy sweetness.
This is a great dish for fun, or if you’re thinking ahead, make this for Thanksgiving as a “healthier” starter. It’s also gluten-free….just sayin’….
Pumpkin Spice Halloumi with Fall Vegetables and Pomegranate
- 2 cups broccoli chopped (raw)
- 2 cups acorn squash chopped (raw)
- 1 tsp olive oil for roasting vegetables
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds keep juice for extra flavor and garnish at the end
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste, for seasoning vegetables
- 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste, for seasoning vegetables
- 1 8 oz. block halloumi cheese cut into 1 oz. strips
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or you can make your own with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- olive oil for pan
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, season vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the vegetables roast, prepare the halloumi cheese. Slice into even 1 oz. pieces. (Even slicing is important so they cook evenly.)
- In a bowl, mix together garlic powder, pumpkin pie spice and ground pepper. (I didn't include salt because halloumi is a very salty cheese.)
- Line up the halloumi strips and coat evenly with honey. Top each slice with the pumpkin spice seasoning. Flip and repeat.
- If it's been 15 minutes, make sure to flip your vegetables to brown on the other side. While the vegetables finish, sear the halloumi.
- Season a large nonstick pan or skillet with olive oil (around 1 tsp) and heat on high for 2 minutes until the pan is hot. Place the seasoned halloumi strips into the pan, and let them sear for one minute. Check the bottom to see how brown the halloumi is. If you want it even more crisp, sear it for another 30 seconds, and flip.
- Sear the halloumi for another minute, or minute and 30 seconds, then place on a plate or cutting board to cool. In the meantime, remove the vegetables from the oven.
- Using tongs, place the warm vegetables on the plate. Place halloumi slices next to the vegetables. Top with a scoop of pomegranate seeds and a splash of the juice for a fun decorative effect. Serve immediately.