The mason jar salad is the newest and coolest way to get in your greens and veggies. Layers of salad additions create a delicious feast for the eyes and a compact way of carrying around your salad in a BPA-free container. But before you jump into the trend, keep in mind the following 5 mason jar salad tips so you can get it right the first time.
1. Layer Wisely
The trick to properly layering a mason jar salad is to start with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients at the bottom and to work your way up with the lightest ingredients at the top. The dressing should be at the bottom so that it doesn’t leak through the lid. If there are some ingredients, such as onions, shallots, garlic or tomatoes, that you would like to soften or have absorb the flavors of the vinaigrette, place them above the vinaigrette and then continue with the heaviest ingredients up towards the lightest ingredients.
2. Parchment Paper
Sometimes, when the greens and veggies you are using are softer and lighter, the dressing finds a way towards the lid and can leak out. To remedy this, cut a piece of parchment paper that is larger than the mouth of the jar, center it on top of the open jar and then close the lid atop of it, so that the parchment paper is sealed in between the jar and the lid. This will prevent the dressing from escaping.
3. Be Creative
This goes without saying, but the fun thing about mason jars salads is that they are unique and can change from one day to the next. Don’t stick to just one recipe – switch it up! Make your salad a feast for the eyes. And, when all is said and done, re-use the mason jar in other insanely clever ways.
4. Bring a Bowl
My first misinterpretation of the mason jar salad was that it was good as is – all I needed was a fork. However, you have to look at a mason jar salad more as a storage container rather than as a replacement for a bowl. Mason jar salads are often tightly compacted and not much moves around. Before eating the salad, you simply give it a good shake to distribute the dressing and then unscrew the cap and shake it lightly into a bowl. Use a fork to toss the salad ingredients again in the bowl, and then enjoy!
5. Make it in Advance, but Wisely
Unfortunately, after a few days, the raw greens and vegetables in your salad may start to wilt or chill to a point where they lose a lot of their flavors. Additionally, any perishable additions, such as avocado, tomatoes, eggs or chicken, may go bad. Give yourself a 3-day margin for the salads you prepare if it includes softer greens or perishable additions. If not, you can make mason jar salads up to 5 days in advance. If you have perishable items in your salad but want to prep it more than 3 days in advance, prepare the salad without the perishable items and simply add them in when it comes time to feast.
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