Last week the folks over at Ulysses Press hooked me up with a copy of Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go. At first glance, I thought the concept was a little silly. I mean, do we really need to put EVERYTHING in mason jars? But when I read the introduction it made me stop for a moment and consider Juliana's reasoning.
It actually makes perfect sense to pack salads ahead of time in glass jars. First off, salads in jars are visually appealing - which really helps boost morale when you are looking at a whole week of salads for lunch. (We all know that we'd really rather be looking at five giant sandwiches - at least I would.)
Packing the ingredients tightly, and in a thoughtful order, helps keep the ingredients fresh and crisp, a challenge for salads made ahead of time. Jar salads also provide a clever solution for the problem of portable dressing. Rather than carrying around an extra container or stashing a bottle of dressing at the office, you can layer the dressing into the jar on the very bottom where it won't soggy up the greens.
So, after being won over by these very convincing arguments, I decided to try out a recipe. The Kale and Avocado Salad looked promising since I'm a fan of pretty much anything that involves avocado and lemons. My jar looked a little scant, so I added a couple of extras: 1/3 cup blueberries and 1/3 cup sunflower sprouts. The verdict? Tasty. Pretty. Win!
Juliana's original recipe for this salad follows. (Posted here with permission from Ulysses Press.)
Ulysses Press is providing a free book to one of my lucky readers, so be sure and enter the giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Let me know what kind of salad you like best, and I'll drop your name in the hat.
A winner will be selected and contacted privately next Monday, September 1. Please check your email. If I don't hear back from the winner, I'll wait five days before passing the prize on to someone else.
Kale & Avocado Salad (In a Mason Jar)
Makes 1 serving
- 1 avocado
- 2 1⁄2 cups kale leaves
- 3 tablespoons Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1⁄3 cup sliced red onion
- 1 quart-size Mason jar
- Cut the avocado in half and discard the pit. Using a spoon, remove the avocado flesh from the outer skin; cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes and set aside.
- Remove the center ribs from the kale leaves and cut them into 11⁄2- to 2-inch pieces. Kale is best when lightly massaged to take away some of the toughness, so place the leaves in a bowl and gently rub them together with your hands to soften them. Be careful not to massage them too much, especially if you’re planning to eat the salad toward the end of the coming week.
- Layer the ingredients in the jar, starting with your dressing, then adding the onion and the kale. Finish with the diced avocado on top. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
- This salad is delicious made with mango, too! Cube a 1⁄2 cup of mango and add it on top of the kale. Top the salad with the avocado.
- Avocados will last about 3 days in a Mason jar, but it will depend on the avocados’ freshness. I don’t recommend using super ripe avocados if you aren’t planning on eating the salad the next day.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking, until the dressing thickens.