What’s better than a hearty harvest salad? Maybe a cup of hot apple cider (with booze). Both would probably be best.
This is a true meal salad. It’s a bit of an investment in dishes as you’ll need to use a few different pots and pans to pull this all together but it’s a great option if you’re setting aside time for meal prep on the weekend and want a healthy and delicious lunch all week that won’t wilt in your fridge.
I traveled to Morocco in 2018 for my friend’s wedding and fell even more in love with the cuisine. I just adore the sweet and savoury interplay that’s common in their dishes. Tagines often include the use of baking spices and dried fruit to create a pleasant counterpoint to the braised meat.
I was reminiscing about all my culinary adventures in Marrakech and Fes when I was dreaming up this recipe. I used a homemade Moroccan spice blend on the chicken to give it plenty of rich flavour that would pair beautifully with the crisp apple and salty aged white cheddar.
The sturdy kale and crunchy Brussels sprouts hold up better than more delicate greens like spinach or arugula – making this a great make-ahead option for a week’s worth of lunches.
If you opt to include the figs, they add a lovely pop of colour and subtle sweetness.
The candied pecans are an absolute must. They add a delicious crunch and complement the Moroccan spice blend perfectly. I’ve included instructions on how to candy pecans below if you don’t want to use store-bought.
I hope you’ll give this salad a try. If you do, don’t be shy to leave a comment and rating on the recipe below!
Harvest Salad with Moroccan Chicken
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp water
- ½ cup pecans
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red onion finely diced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 head kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 cups shredded brussels sprouts
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- ½ cup candied pecans
- 4-6 fresh figs optional
- ½ cup cubed aged white cheddar
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Fill a medium bowl with lukewarm water and stir in a handful of salt, stir until salt is dissolved. Place chicken breasts in the saltwater and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all spices in a small bowl and mix well.
Remove chicken from brine and rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels.
Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle with spice mixture and rub into the chicken, ensuring all sides are evenly coated.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from oven and cover with tinfoil, let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a skillet and cook over medium heat for a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.
Add the pecans and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring to coat the pecans in the glaze.
Remove from the heat, and spread the pecans out on parchment paper to let the pecans cool completely and then break apart
To make the vinaigrette. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the red onion and sage, cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly. Add the pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Season with salt and pepper.
Add de-stemmed, chopped kale to a large salad bowl, drizzle with olive and sprinkle with salt. Massage the kale leaves, squeezing and pinching with your hands, until the leaves have softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Add shredded Brussels sprouts (I use the grater attachment on my food processor to quickly shred the sprouts), and toss to combine.
If serving immediately, add dressing and toss to combine, otherwise leave dressing on the side and add just before serving.
Top with sliced Moroccan chicken, cubed aged white cheddar, candied pecans, apple slices and quartered figs (if using). Serve and enjoy!