Vegan Summer Salad with Macadamia Nut-Cherry Crumble (Gluten-free)

I’m about to knock your socks off with this killer salad. And guess what? It’s an 86 Lemons original! I guess after almost two and a half years of vegan cooking, I should be able to come up with my own recipes by now. Still, I’m tootin’ my own horn over here because this summer salad is the SHIZZLE!

Vegan Summer Salad with Macadamia Nut-Cherry Crumble Gluten-free

A while back, I bought a small container of hazelnut oil at T.J. Maxx. Not sure what I was saving it for, but I finally popped it open and used it for this recipe. Uhh-mazeballs. If you have some, use it in this recipe. If not, no worries—olive oil will work just fine. Also, if you’re not a fan of kale, I strongly urge you to try it in this recipe. Just don’t skip the “very finely chopped” part—it makes a big difference. Plus it’s a sturdy leafy green, which means leftovers will store well in the fridge for a day or two with minimal wilting.

Vegan Summer Salad with Macadamia Nut-Cherry Crumble Gluten-free

This salad is great on its own, but the macadamia nut-cherry crumble makes it blog-worthy. It complements the dijon dressing perfectly. The recipe makes more crumble than you’ll need, which is fortunate. Store it in the freezer and snag a bite-sized piece when you need to cure a sweet tooth. Or use it as a topping (along with some shaved dark chocolate, of course) on vegan ice cream. It would be great in a hot bowl of oatmeal, too! The list goes on…

Vegan Summer Salad with Macadamia Nut-Cherry Crumble (Gluten-free)

Okay, so I know this post makes three salad posts out of the last four. I’m sure you weren’t counting. But just in case, I promise that my next recipe post will NOT be a salad. Any requests?

Vegan Summer Salad with Macadamia Nut-Cherry Crumble (Gluten-free)

Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Author: Livvy @ 86 Lemons
Serves: 6 side salads


Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch red or green kale, destemmed and very finely chopped
  • 6 small carrots, peeled and shredded* (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, thinly sliced*
  • 1 large avocado, chopped

Crumble Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or hazelnut oil if you care to splurge)
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt


  1. Add kale, carrots and cucumber to a large bowl; toss. Set aside.
  2. Add macadamia nuts to food processor and pulse until mostly chopped. Add dried cherries and lemon juice; pulse just a few times until mixture comes together and cherries are finely chopped. Scrape mixture into small bowl and set aside.
  3. No need to clean the processor bowl yet. Add garlic clove and process until finely chopped. Add remaining dressing ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Pour dressing over kale/carrot/cucumber mixture; toss to coat.
  4. Plate each salad, then top with chunks of the macadamia nut-cherry crumble and chopped avocado. You will likely have leftover crumble mixture, which can be stored in the freezer.


*If you have shredder/slicer discs for your food processor, they will make quick work of these two tasks.


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