recipes-mason-jar-salads

Summer means salad.

When the sun is really doing it’s thing, I’m all about cool and refreshing. So that’s why I’m loving “Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go” (Ulysses Press, 2014), the new cookbook from Julia Mirabella.

Reusing Mason jars this way is aesthetically pleasing, and of course, environmentally friendly. Mirabella recommends that you assemble them a few at a time, prepping all of the ingredients first. The secret, she shares, is in the layering. Dressing on the bottom, substantial ingredients like carrots, chickpeas or cherry tomatoes next (as they won’t soak up the dressing), with tender salad greens on top. Cheese or nuts go last, then seal the top and refrigerate. When it’s lunchtime, toss your salad in a bowl and you’re good to go.

Try these two recipes for salads featuring fruit and cheese (the classic sweet and salty combination that tastes so right!), just to get the hang of it. These recipes are for a single (generous) serving, but if you’re cooking for the family, simply scale up.

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Serves 1

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pint-sized Mason jar

Directions:

1. Layer the salad ingredients in the Mason jar, starting with the vinaigrette dressing and continuing with the tomatoes, parsley, watermelon, and feta cheese, in that order.

2. Seal the jar and refrigerate until ready to use. (EDITOR’S TIP: sub in some fresh chopped mint for a little of the parsley for a truly refreshing salad!)

Sherry Vinaigrette 
Serves 2

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

1. Whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until dressing thickens.

recipes-mason-jar-salads-blueberry

Spinach, Blueberry and Blue Cheese Salad

Serves 1

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 quart-size Mason jar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Place the blueberries in the bottom of the Mason jar. Next make layers of 2 cups spinach, the almonds, and the remaining cup of spinach leaves. The final layer should be the blue cheese.

2. On top of the blue cheese, make a parchment paper cup (using an 8-inch square piece of parchment paper, center it over the top of the open jar, pushing down to form a little cup, making sure that there is overhang to hold the seal) and pour in 3 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette. Seal the jar and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat the salad. (AUTHOR’S TIP: if you’re going to eat this salad on the same day you make it, you can put the dressing in the bottom of the jar. Otherwise, the salad will last longer if the blueberries don’t sit in the dressing.)

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Serves 2

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

1. Whisk together the vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until dressing thickens.

Adapted from “Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go” by Julia Mirabella.