By Chef Alli on February 17, 2016
Mason jar salads seem to be all the rage these days and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon myself. I love getting a chilled jar out of the fridge, packed tight with fresh greens, vegetables and dressing. I’ve also found it’s very worthwhile to spend a couple hours over the weekend to pack my jar salads for the upcoming week — they stay fresh for four to five days, and I can grab one on my way out the door.
Use the vertical layout of your jar to your advantage. I use the wide-mouth quart jars for most of my salads, but you can use pint-size jars as well.
Pack your ingredients tightly into the jar. This ensures there’s no room left in the jar for air and your salad ingredients will stay fresh much longer.
layering is key
- Start with your salad dressing on the bottom of the jar. I usually add two to three tablespoons. Vinaigrettes seem to work better than creamy dressings do, because vinaigrettes don’t separate as easily.
- Next, add your vegetables, fruits and/or beans, such as carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, radishes, blueberries, strawberries, corn, quinoa, wheat berries, etc. These will provide a moisture barrier to keep the greens from wilting.
- Lastly, layer your chopped greens on top. If you’d like, top your greens with shredded cheese or a sprinkle of nuts. Seal tightly with the lid and place in the fridge.
- I nearly always add proteins to my salads, but I usually pack those separately and toss them in when I’m ready to eat, right after I pour my salad out into the bowl. Since the dressing is on the bottom, it now winds up on top.
You can make a parchment paper pouch for your dressing, keeping it perfectly contained within your jar yet separate from your ingredients. Also, the lid will screw onto the jar, right over the parchment paper without a problem. When ready to eat, simply lift the pouch and create a little spout to pour the dressing over your ingredients. This works slick as a whistle and I was surprised how long the dressing holds in the parchment paper.
With these tips in mind, try these delicious canning jar salad recipes.