Soooo I try not to follow trends too much and I personally think it’s hard to drink out of a mason jar without dribbling on myself, but there is no denying that aside from preserving, the good old mason jar has it’s very practical uses. And this time of year with boating, picnics and Fourth of July entertaining they’re perfect for these portable salads.
I make them days in advance and then they fit in a cooler easily for lunch out on the water or just in the back yard. It’s hard to say what the genesis for jar salads is, but certainly a major champion and tester of them is appropriately named saladinajar.com. If you need tips she has got it down to a science!
I made a lighter and leaner red pepper vinaigrette… in part because we were doing a wine and cheese thing the other night and I didn’t want a dressing that was too assertive with the vinegar messing with my Pomerol if you know what I mean. So it’s healthy, with the red peppers and olive oil and come to think of it, could be even more so with cider vinegar.. that’s what I’ll do next time! It’s also easy on the calories, easy to make and very wine-friendly.
You have to separate the lettuce from the dressing in the bottom with something… in this case I used chopped cucumber tossed with lemon zest and then put luscious lettuce from my farm share. I dropped a few flakes of Maldon salt in there because I wanted it to be slightly seasoned, but salting ahead will wilt the lettuce. Just a few of the large Maldon flakes kind of mind their own business. Put in the fridge days ahead and then it’s effortless entertaining when everyone’s ready to eat. Give them a shake and dig in.
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 5 minutes
A large hothouse cucumber and this vinaigrette recipe are just about right for six 12-ounce, wide mouth mason jars. I used pomegranate molasses because I tend to have the Persian Version on hand, but honey will be great too.
1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers (whole peppers)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar
splash red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil, or more to taste/desired consistency
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- puree peppers, garlic and balsamic or cider vinegar
- taste and add splash of red wine vinegar for desired acidity
- turn blender on low and stream in olive oil
- season and prep your picnic!