I’ve been subjecting you to a lot of comfort food lately, so I figured this was the perfect time to change things up with a nice light salad. This easy cashew sesame snap pea salad takes just about 15 minutes to make, and only 7 ingredients. Simplicity at its finest! Brought to you by the fact that I’m totally obsessed with sugar snap peas at the moment – like, we’re talking spend-half-of-my-grocery-budget-on-them and eat-them-straight-from-the-bag levels.
The original inspiration comes from this sesame cashew cabbage salad mix I’ve been buying at Costco. (Side note: did you know that Costco has a fairly excellent selection of vegan stuff? Is anyone interested in a guide?) Yes, guilty as charged of not always making my salads from scratch. Whatever, I’m picky about salads and the Costco one is cheap and good. The dressing is somewhat disappointingly sugary and greasy, though, considering that there are plenty of delicious and nutritious salad dressings out there. (I’ll admit it’s delicious however.)
So one day, when I was reach into my refrigerator for some – you guessed it – sugar snap peas, I glanced at some leftover Costco salad dressing hiding in the back corner, and immediately knew that I needed to make a cashew sesame snap pea salad soon.
The great thing about swapping in snap peas for the traditional cabbage is that they’re super sweet in their raw form, which allowed me to use a dressing without any added sugar. Sweet! (Pun intended. Ugh.). I whisked together just a touch of toasted sesame oil with some fresh citrus and it was the perfect complement for the fresh raw veggies. Even though they’re mostly whole or halved in my pictures, I actually recommend chopping your cashews so that you can use the same amount but distribute them into every bite.
This cashew sesame snap pea salad is easy, healthy, and fresh. It does great with substitutions of your favorite raw veggies and fresh tasting dressings to mix it up! I absolutely love simple raw veggie preparations like this that let beautiful spring produce shine. Aren’t those snap peas just gorgeous? Happy salad-eating!
Cashew Sesame Snap Pea Salad
Fresh and delicious cashew sesame snap pea salad with a simple orange sesame vinaigrette. Only a few ingredients and 15 minutes are needed to make this vegan and gluten-free salad come to life.
- 8 oz raw snap peas trimmed if needed, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 bunch of chives cut into 2-inch pieces (or green onions or scallions - green parts only)
- 1/2 cup salted roasted cashews
- (optional) toasted sesame seeds, for topping
For the citrus sesame dressing:
- 6 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 4 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the dressing by vigorously whisking together all of the ingredients, or closing them tightly in a jar and shaking it. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and citrus.
Add all of the chopped veggies and the cashews to a salad bowl and gently toss them together with dressing to taste. Some of the peas will probably fall out of the halved snap pea pods; this is fine, just mix them in with everything else.
Serve right away, or cold. This salad will stay decent in the fridge for a day or two after you make it, although it's best fresh.
MIX AND MATCH: Other veggies that would be great served raw in this sesame snap pea salad include bell peppers, cabbage, and kohlrabi. Swap them for the carrot or just add them too, chopped into pieces similar in size to the snap peas.
MAKE AHEAD: You can make the dressing in advance, but this recipe is superfast already.
Serves 2 as a large side or up to 4 as a smaller side salad.