This nutty green veggie crunch salad ranks among my all-time favorite recipes. It's chock-full of nutritious green vegetables and so, so fun to eat. The best of both worlds wrapped up in one crisp, refreshing salad!
Many, many years ago, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) used to be a favorite of mine. It was my mom and my mother-daughter "date night" spot.
We'd grab dinner at CPK and then shop or go to the movies. Of course, times have changed and on the rare occasion that date night is an option, I pick Dan to be my date and we tend to frequent smaller, cozier, veg-friendlier establishments.
But several weeks ago, while we were out on a Container Store run with my mom, we grabbed lunch at a CPK I literally hadn't been to in 15 years.
It reminded me of old times and conjured up memories of spilling all the latest boy drama to my mom while home from college for summer break. If only I'd known Dan was in the pipeline... I'd (probably) have chilled out a bit.
It also brought up memories of a salad my mom and I used to split. A super green, crisp salad with a nutty sesame dressing, little cucumber rounds, and chicken. I believe it's still on the menu all these years later. Either way, the mere memory of it inspired me to create a veggie-foward vegan version.
And so, here it is. I'm calling it the Nutty Green Veggie Crunch Salad. Because it's PACKED with all the green veggies, super nutty, and ultra crisp and crunchy.
This salad. Oh, this salad. If you make just one recipe from my blog this spring/summer, please let it be this one. It's packed with flavor and so, so fun to eat.
And did I mention it's way easy, too? You might have noticed that I'm alll about the simple recipes lately. Quick, easy, or both. #momlife
To make this salad, you'll start by prepping the veggies and topping components.
Shred the romaine + green cabbage.
Slice the cucumbers + scallions.
Chop the cilantro.
Grab your shelled edamame (and defrost if using frozen), nuts, and seeds.
Add everything to a roomy serving bowl...
Then, prepare the nutty sesame dressing. Which, side note, I could eat by the spoonful.
Whisk together creamy peanut butter (or sunflower butter to make it nut-free), pure maple syrup, tamari, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil.
Once the dressing is ready, pour it over the salad and toss to coat. This dressing is quite thick and clings to the veggies extremely well.
Then, serve and enjoy. That's it!
If your tastebuds are anything like mine, this salad will strike your fancy in a special way. I find it's nearly impossible not to go back for seconds, and I could probably eat it every day for weeks on end.
It's that good. Please, please, please make it!
Nutty Green Veggie Crunch Salad
- ½ large head romaine, washed, patted dry, and shredded
- ½ to ¾ large head green cabbage, cored and shredded
- 2–3 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- ½ to 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 cup shelled edamame*
- ½ cup chopped peanuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds (or a mix of all three—my favorite), plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
Nutty Sesame Dressing
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ tablespoons tamari**
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- For the salad: Add all salad ingredients to a large serving bowl.
- For the dressing: In a medium mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together all dressing ingredients until completely smooth and emulsified.
- Pour as much of the dressing over the salad as desired, and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately and top with more nuts and seeds, if desired.
Made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! Crunchy, fresh, and the dressing is divine. This is a definite keeper, will be making it again!
So, so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Kate! This one has a special place in my heart, so makes me extra happy to know it's appreciated. :)
Glad I came upon Blissful Basil, this salad was fantastic. Loved all the different flavors, the crunch and pretty too. Thanks for sharing, it'll be a made again.
So glad you're enjoying the recipe, Sandy! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your thoughts and rating—means so much.
I made this recipe today, and the dressing is killer! I love how all the flavors came together. Will definitely make again!
So happy to hear you're enjoying the recipe, Erin! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your thoughts and rating—means a lot to me.
Julia Huggins says
This salad is my new favorite! I have a hard time getting excited about salads, but I’ve been looking forward to lunch all week! Thanks for sharing :)
Ahh, this makes me so happy to hear, Julia! Glad you're enjoying it, and I agree—this salad is actually worth getting excited about. My favorite, too. :)
Just finished putting this salad together for lunch this week, and it looks amazing!. Any experience with dressing the salad and keeping it in the fridge? Best to leave dressing off? Thanks!
Hi, Jami! If you dress it ahead of time, it will last up to three days in the refrigerator. It will get a touch "soggy" but on the other hand, the flavors really have a chance to meld. Personally, I enjoy the leftovers just as much as the fresh salad, but if a slightly "soggy" salad isn't your thing, I'd hold off on dressing until just before serving. Enjoy!
I love love love this salad! This is the second time I have made this in 4 days...but i leave the dressing off because it gets too soggy. Maybe it's because I shred the romaine lettuce too finely. I like this salad for the crunch :)
So happy to hear you're enjoying the salad! It will get a bit soggy if the dressing sits on the salad in the refrigerator—I don't mind it, but definitely a good idea to add just before serving if you prefer a super crunchy salad. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback! :)
Celeste Jackson says
I love those memories of us going to CPK. That was an enjoyable salad too but I LOVE the textures and flavors in this one! Thank you for creating it😉 and stirring up those fun memories.
Of course! You're welcome. :)
Dana Liadis says
Made this with almond butter and topped with toasted almonds. Very good!
So glad you enjoyed it, Dana! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know. :)
Nikki B. says
Hi Ashley.... wondering if you can provide the nutritional breakdown for those who are macro counters 😄.
Hi, Nikki! I don't calculate macros for my recipes (my FAQ pages outlines why if you're curious), but there are lots of helpful calculators online that you can simply drop this blog post link into and it will automatically populate for you using the recipe details. Hope this helps!
I didn’t have maple syrup on hand so the dressing seems a little thick- any substitutes you can think of?
Hi, Caitlin! Do you have agave on hand? If so, that's a good substitute for the maple syrup.
Hello! Thank you for the fantastic and healthy recipe. I found the dressing to be thicker than desired. Any suggestions on how I may alter the ratios to make it thinner? Thanks again!
Hi, Elizabeth! Using a runnier natural peanut butter with make it a bit thinner as will adding more water. If you add more water, simply increase the tamari and other flavorful components by a touch to accommodate the increase in water. Dressings in general are quite forgiving, so there's no harm in playing around and adjusting to suit your particular tastes. Hope this helps and enjoy!
I just made this for the first time and found it very refreshing on a hot day! I'm keeping my dressing and nuts/seeds separate to keep things from getting soggy. I used a whole head of romaine and omitted the maple syrup. For anyone interested, I did a rough calorie count of 400 cal/serving (calculated using a whole head of romaine, a medium size head of cabbage, 1/4 c roasted peanuts , 1/4 c roasted sunflower seeds, and no sweetener)
Loved it. I’m not a huge fan if peanuts so I used almond butter instead of peanut butter.
Happy to hear you loved it, Jana! And glad you found almond butter to be a good swap. Thanks for coming back to share your thoughts! :)
Keri Aller says
Brought this to a potluck at work and everyone loved it!
Happy to hear it was a potluck hit, Keri! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your rating and results—means so much.
Made this on a really hot day and it was absolutely delicious! I added avocado because well I love it!
I prepared the salad and dressing seperate a head of time. Little hint for dressing, I put all the ingredients in an old cleaned jar with a lid and then just shaked it like crazy. Works like a treat and can store it until ready to use or take to work :)
Thanks so much
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Tash! Love the idea of adding avocado and excellent tip for the dressing. Thanks for taking the time to come back and share. :)
Alexis Solomon says
This was so delicious! Such a healthy and flavorful salad and the dressing is soo good!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Alexis! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your thoughts and rating. :)
Super interesting combination. It would be great on a hot summer day. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing
Lydia Ph says
Ahhh SO GOOD!! Totally a salad to get excited about eating. We just finished and I’m wishing myself to get hungry again quick because I just want to eat it again ha! Anyway, I had no doubts it would be fab, thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it, Lydia! One of my all-time favorites. :) Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and rating.
This is absolutely delicious. I have made a batch up and used it for work lunches, just take it in a container with a separate container of dressing. The whole family loves it and I love that it is simple to put together.
Very happy to hear the entire family is enjoying the recipe, Gabby! Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback—means a lot.
Carla @ Foodie Digital says
This salad got nods of approval from both husband and 7 year old (I loved it too). Such a great option when looking for a lighter meal that still feels satisfying. The edamame rounds this out and makes it a complete meal. Definitely making again.
So happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed the recipe, Carla! Always wonderful to hear. Thanks for taking time out of your day to share. :)