Radicchio, Lentil and Apple Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing

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radicchio lentil apple salad with vegan cashew dressing recipe
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Aran Goyoaga

Let’s just face it: A creamy salad dressing is far superior to all others. But if you’re vegan or dairy-free, your options are suddenly slim. Aran Goyoaga has a found solution in her dreamy cashew cream recipe, which she transformed into a luscious dressing while cooking with us.

“The cashew dressing in this dish is one of my go-to recipes for so many dairy-free variations,” the author of Cannelle et Vanille told us when she whipped it up in our test kitchen. “You can even reduce the amount of water to two or three tablespoons to create a more spread-like consistency.” Here, combined with bitter radicchio, lentils and apples, it serves as the ultimate foil to a crunchy, crispy salad.

But don’t stop there: “It’s great in many recipes where you would use ricotta,” Goyoaga said, “like on toast with jam or even tossed with al dente pasta for a creamy vegan sauce.”

Trust us, even the biggest dairy queens will be converted.

PureWow’s Chef in Residence program invites food influencers and tastemakers from all over the world to create new recipes in our New York City test kitchen.

Ceramics courtesy of Henry Street Studio.


Cashew Dressing

1¼ cups raw cashews

1 large and juicy lemon, juiced and zested

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt


1 cup black lentils, rinsed well

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt


1 head of radicchio, finely chopped

1 large tart-sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp)—halved, cored and thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, torn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

⅓ cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped


1. Make the Cashew Dressing: Place the cashews in a medium bowl, cover them with boiling water and soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Drain the cashews and transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add 4 tablespoons water along with the lemon juice and zest, olive oil and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. Stop the blender, give the dressing a good mix with a spatula and then continue processing. You can add another tablespoon of water if it’s too thick. Transfer to a clean bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate. The dressing will keep for up to a week.

3. Make the Lentils: Place the lentils, garlic, bay leaf, olive oil and salt in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to generously cover the lentils, cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the lentils until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. You can make the lentils a day in advance and keep them refrigerated. (I also like to freeze leftovers and use for another time.)

4. Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, toss together the lentils, radicchio, apples, parsley, olive oil and salt.

5. To serve, put a dollop of cashew dressing on each plate and swoosh it around with the back of a spoon. Top with a large serving of salad and toasted hazelnuts or walnuts. Toss the salad with the dressing and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
  • Salad

  • 235 calories

  • 11g fat

  • 27g carbs

  • 10g protein

  • 4g sugars

  • Dressing

  • 183 calories

  • 15g fat

  • 10g carbs

  • 5g protein

  • 2g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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