Seasonal Flavors: Salad in a Jar

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A few years ago, the idea of salad in a jar was all the rage. So I’m not claiming this as an original idea, but thought I’d write about it to remind all of us that this is a nifty way to carry lunch to work, or make road trip eating a real pleasure.

I’ve used lunch-in-a-jar to get us all the way to California. I made six of them, put them in a cooler and we’d pull off at the nicest roadside rest area we could find and enjoy high-quality food, with little mess and very low cost. Three days of salad stayed perfectly fresh and tasty when packed like this and kept cool.

The basic idea involves putting the salad dressing on the bottom so that your greens don’t get soggy.  Then layer the salad with everything you like–finally stuffing the greens on top.  The other advantage of this method is that if one person doesn’t like onions, you can omit them from that person’s jar.

As with many/most things these days, I learned about salad in a jar from one of my children. They keep me relevant. They make sure I don’t dress like an old lady. They tell me about the latest apps. They guarantee that my eyeglasses are cool. What would I do without them? I’ll give Kirsten the credit for this idea. She got it from a book by Julia Mirabella (Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go).

I urge you to make salad in a jar and take a road trip, or go on out to Mint Springs for a picnic.

Below is the salad that got us all the way to California. Bring a paper plate, napkin and fork. For an extra protein punch, bring a pop-top tin of tuna packed in oil and top the salad with tuna. One can of tuna will usually satisfy two people.

Salad to Go

Starting at the bottom of a wide-mouth one-pint canning jar, layer: Blue cheese dressing, garbanzo beans, chopped spring onions (or not!), sliced radishes, grated carrots, sliced bell pepper, and grated cheddar. Fill to the brim with chopped spinach or lettuce. Don’t be afraid to stuff the greens.

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