I’m intensely aware that it’s been a few weeks since my last recipe post; but for the past few weeks, my days have been packed with wonderful things going on in my life. I was cast as the female lead in the intensely funny farce at Cottage Theatre – Moon Over Buffalo so rehearsals have kept my evenings busy. We opened the show 2 weekends ago and have four more performances this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, and our last show will be the Sunday matinee. If you live near Cottage Grove, OR, be sure to get your ticket. You will have as much fun in the audience as the cast does on stage. Also, several weeks ago my son, Sean, returned home after being away for nearly 8 months abroad in India and Cambodia. We’ve been catching up on his adventures, taking hikes, working outside in the yard together and getting him ready for the summer session at Portland State University.
In mid-May, we met my daughter, Kirsten and husband, Eigo, at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, OR. What a beautiful day. And it just so happens that my favorite flower is an Iris.
This past Saturday Kirsten came down from Portland, and we helped pack Sean’s things into the moving truck and off he moved to Portland. He’s interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, so he’ll be working on all those pre-med science courses at PSU that he needs for medical school. Can’t beat having my all my children just two hours away!
My daughter told me about this idea, and I just had to try it. Really, I thought? I can make 5 to 7 salads on Sunday night and have them taste fresh for the whole week? Yes! It’s true using a jar will keep your salad fresh for several days.
Now I know that on the market there are several types of canning jars made by Kerr, Mason, Ball and other companies. I’ve always used the term Mason Jar, because that’s what Mom and Grandma called them when I was a girl….
Using Mason jars are the perfect shape that let you put the salad dressing on the bottom and layer the rest of the ingredients on top so you never have to worry about forgetting the dressing, and it doesn’t make the lettuce or spinach soggy!
It’s really a snap and don’t be afraid to use your imagination. You can choose to add any item that you enjoy in a salad. If you have a slaw that you already make up, you can add that to the jar as one of the layers. If you have an artichoke tapenade that you’d like to add for a bit of a kick, you can add a spoonful or two as one of the layers. Truly, it’s up to you. The salads can be anything you want! The trick is to layer your items in this fashion:
Layer 1: Salad dressing (your choice)
Layer 2: The hearty/heavy vegetables which will stay nice and crisp during the week.
Layer 3: Beans and less hearty vegetables (zucchini, sprouts, green beans, corn etc if you choose to use them.)
Layer 4: Pasta and Grains. If you want — you can use any type of pasta, rice, couscous, rice, or quinoa.
Layer 5: Lettuce – romaine, arugula, butter lettuce, or baby spinach — whatever you love – the ingredients you don’t want to wilt or become soft or soggy.
Layer 6: If you want to add a few nuts or seeds, do so now and they won’t lose their crunch.
When you go to serve, it’s up to you. I prefer to eat my salad on a big plate
Truly, you’ll be amazed at the size your salad will be.
Remember, I’ve only given you the basics of the layers and what works best regarding type and weight of veggie, but the above is just an idea of how you might layer your salad in a jar. Truly, there is no rule regarding the amount or type of ingredients to put in each layer or that you must include “6 layers.” What’s important to remember is Layer 1 should be your salad dressing and Layer 2 should be your heavier, hearty veggies — the rest is up to your imagination and taste.
So, have fun! Enjoy.