Babe's "Naked" Fruit & Veggie Salad ♥

Babe's Naked Fruit & Veggie Salad
Today's salad inspiration: A "naked" salad: No dressing. Not a drizzle of vinaigrette, not even a splash of lemon juice. What do we think, what makes a salad a salad? Is it the dressing? or what's dressed?

Back in June, a reader forwarded a recipe. (Thanks for the recipe, Mary!) She listed a few of my favorite ingredients for salads, romaine and chopped vegetables plus fresh fruit and dried fruit, coconut and a few nuts. The instructions were simple, "Cut all ingredients in medium pieces and mix together. Very delicious!" The recipe struck me as a fall salad so onto the stack it went until last week when it hit me, Hey wait, this salad has no salad dressing! Sure enough, said Mary when asked. "Actually, I like it without dressing."

My brain got to working. Is it the "dressing" that makes a collection of chopped veggies a salad? Do I ever make a salad without stirring in some sort of something to bind it all together? Admittedly, I was a little dubious – but fully prepared for a new food discovery too!

Chop, chop, chop, the salad was done. I made a few substitutions from Mary's ingredient list, just cleaning out the fridge with what was on hand. But I did stay true to her combination.

And here's the thing. We loved this salad! What I was so pleased with – and surprised by – is that without dressing, even a light one, the textures and flavors of the individual bites, and their combinations, really came through. It wasn't the "perfectly balanced vinaigrette" or the "creaminess of a pungent blue" that was the focus, it was the individual ingredients.

Now truth be told, Mary also said, "Of course, you can use dressing or make any adjustment that is suitable." And if I were going to make a salad dressing for this salad – because you know the challenge, right? the Never Buy Salad Dressing Again challenge? – I would stick to something simple, may a little honey and lemon juice like in Zucchini with Lemon & Honey or the lovely oil-free German Salad Dressing.

So would you try a salad without dressing? Or am I the last person on earth to figure this out, thanks to Mary's recipe?


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes but keeps fine in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours
Serves 4

3 carrots, trimmed, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1 cup cauliflower, cut in tiny florets
1-1/2 cups chopped romaine

1/3 cup green or red grapes, halved
1/3 cup dried cranberries or sour cherries
1/3 cup dried currants
1/3 cup toasted pecans, walnuts or almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

Combine. Serve and enjoy!

The calories add up when using calorie-dense dried fruit and nuts. Next time I'll see how it tastes with half what's shown.

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~ Mixed Fruit & Vegetable Salad ~
~ Celery & Apple Salad ~
~ Last-Minute Festive Celery, Cauliflower & Apple Salad ~
~ more green salad recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Roasted Pear Salad ~
~ That Pink Salad ~
~ Power Food Broccoli Salad ~
~ more salad recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of salad fiend and 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I often ask "what defines a salad" when I see gelatin/fruit/marshmallow(!) combinations labeled as salads.

  2. i have been eating naked salads for more than 20 years, dressings, even oil and vinegar, mask the true taste of the veggies. once you get beyond lettuce there's no going back, avocado, cucumber sweet potato and maybe corn fresh or frozen roasted, topped with any nuts of choice or seeds, sesame or poppy or sunflower, kohlrabi is a new favorite to mix in, sundried tomats, artie bottoms, beets pickled or not...why slather or drizzle when the flavors are so rich, jicama, parsnips carrots red cabbage, dried cranberries or tart cherries, broccoli stalks, peeled are fantastic, don't like the crowns/flowers, yucca i boil and add to whatever takes my fancy, and they are beautiful looking salads

  3. Do you think you could make this a few hours ahead?

  4. Anonymous ~ So sorry, I’ve had an email issue for several days, just now saw your question. My notes say that the salad, fully assembled, keeps in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours. Any longer than that, I’d be tempted to chop the vegetables and fruit up but keep the green onion, nuts and coconut separate until just before serving. Hope that helps!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna