Here is a great recipe idea for warm summer days or any days! — Salads in a Jar — they are fun, easy and will help you keep the heat out of the kitchen and have you prepared for at least one of your meals during the day! And since you should always shoot for having a big salad as the main dish for at least ONE of your meals, EVERY DAY, these are PERFECT!
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.
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.