I saw Salad In a Jar in a great blog post on these make-ahead, packable salads. A few times a year, I have to attend a meeting where a lunch of dead animals is provided for everyone (except me). This time, I had a beautiful meal instantly constructed on my plate, with just a shake and a tip of the wide-mouth canning jar.
SALAD IN A JAR
wide-mouth canning jar(s), quart size
Put salad dressing on the bottom of the jar(s) and start building. First, add ingredients that benefit from a marinade in the salad dressing, things like beets or beans or lentils. As you build up further away from the dressing, you could add chopped nuts, dried fruit, diced vegetables, drained mandarin oranges, greens or lettuces, cooked quinoa, croutons, etc. Make sure to leave an inch or two of space at the top–this will allow you to shake the salad, and it will also keep your food away from any BPA in the canning jar lid.
Notes: It’s easy to fill more than one jar at a time. I prefer to cut my greens or lettuces into smaller pieces. Ingredients can change with the seasons–in the summer, you could tuck some nasturtium flowers from the garden on top, and in the Fall you could use roasted root vegetables. Take these flavors in any direction by changing up the dressing and fixings–Mexican, Greek, etc. I’m thinking cold Japanese somen noodle salad with smoked tofu, green onions, fresh peas and seasame seeds. Or Middle Eastern with tahini dressing, roasted chickpeas, cucumbers, pistachios or walnuts, and dried apricots.