Salad in a Jar
Salad in a Jar” is a perfect way to use local, seasonal foods. These salads are so easy to make! You don’t have to use all the ingredients; however, it is very important to put the salad dressing on the bottom followed with a layer of hard, moisture-resistant vegetables to protect the remaining layers from getting soggy.
Basic ingredients and directions for Salad in a Jar:
- Place salad dressing in the bottom of the jar (about 2 to 3 tablespoons for a quart-sized salad; 1 to 2 tablespoons for pint-size jar). A vinaigrette-type dressing works well.
- Top with a layer of hard, moisture-resistant vegetables (e.g. carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, radishes, cauliflower, red and green pepper).
- Follow with 1 or more of these protein foods: lentils; garbanzo beans or other beans (e.g. black beans, kidney beans, Great Northern Beans, red beans). Meat, such as canned tuna, previously roasted chicken or ham, may taste best and keep better if added at the time of serving. (Note: Don’t keep previously cooked meat longer than 4 days if saving from a previous meal for adding at the time of serving your salad.)
- Softer vegetables and fruits come next, such as corn, olives, grape tomatoes and dried fruit (e.g. raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries).
- Nuts and seeds follow, for example almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Chunks of cheese or shredded cheese also can be added at this time.
- Add salad greens last. For the most nutrition, use dark green salad greens (e.g. romaine, spinach, leaf lettuce).
- Top the jar with lid and store in the refrigerator. Place salad jar in an insulated bag with a gel pack if carrying it to work.
- Some people like to shake the jar to distribute the dressing and eat directly from the jar. Many prefer to shake the salad into a large bowl. If shaking the salad from the jar doesn’t mix the salad with the dressing sufficiently, gently toss with a fork until ingredients are coated.
Source: Alice Henneman, Lancaster County, University of Nebraska Extension