If you’ve spent any time on pinterest recently, you’re sure to have noticed the current mason jar craze taking over feeds everywhere. Oh, you haven’t seen this?!? Well maybe I just have a few jar-crazy friends 😉 Sadly, I too have now become another statistic to the mason jar epidemic.
It started innocently enough. The polar vortex has been bringing lots of cold air to my little slice of heaven in the south, thus I have been eating an inordinate amount of soup as of late. Soup is one of those weird things that I typically don’t think of as a ‘meal’ except when I am sick. Lately though I have actually been craving it, which is totally bizarre for me. Along with all this soup I still wanted something of substance to crunch on, thus the idea of a pairing salad with it. I know, revolutionary, right? Watch out world, I’ll be figuring out this whole ‘internet’ thing next!
Now I kept seeing these pins for salads in mason jars claiming that they stay fresh for days, and I finally had a friend share a post that made some sense for me out of these claims. It detailed how to layer your jar salad to keep things from becoming soggy and unappetizing. So off to the store I zoomed for salad fixing and some jars* to try this out.
So, according to eHow, the proper way to layer your mason jar salad (from bottom to top) to keep them fresh is as follows:
- Dressing (your wettest ingredient)
- Marinade-able ingredients. Examples are dried fruit, picked veggies, and/or root veggies like carrots, onion, or radishes.
- Wet Ingredients. Such as cucumber, tomatoes, corn, apple, or anything else that would make the lettuce go soggy.
- Dry Ingredients. Beans, meats, cheese, whole berries, etc.
- Lettuce and toppings. I am still experimenting if its works better to do croutons bellow or on top of the lettuce. This is also where you can include such things as edible flowers, nuts, or tortilla strips.
*Jars – I never realized how many different types of mason jars there are. I went with a wide-mouth quart jar, which has turned out to be just perfect. Easy to get things in and out of, and makes a good main entree salad serving size.
The great thing about these salads is, once you get the basics of layering down, they are infinitely customizable. Below are 4 salads I have made recently that I came up with off the top of my head. Don’t like something in my version, no worries, kick it out and replace with something you do like!
Hard Boiled Egg slices
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Strawberry Fields Salad
Honey Roasted Almond Slivers
Feta Cheese Crumbles
Update: After trying several iterations with the croutons in different places, I would definitely recommend them on top, or carried separately (I know, hassle). If your salad is not going to sit long before eating, they will remain mostly crunchy on top. After 24 hours in the jar however, then get kind of soggy. Personally, I just brought a small sandwich bag of them to my office to add at the time I devour my salad.
This recipe came to me via email and were just too pretty and too yummy-sounding not to share! If you try it, be sure to leave a comment to let us know how it turned out!
- 3 (3-ounce) packages soft split ladyfingers
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
- ½ cup minced fresh strawberries
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 (10.75-ounce) all-butter pound cake
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- Garnish: 8 whole strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place ladyfingers on parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until very lightly toasted. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, whipped topping, minced strawberries, confectioners’ sugar, and sour cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Slice pound cake lengthwise into long (1/4-inch-thick) slices. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, cut 8 circles of cake. Set aside. Cut one rounded end off ladyfingers so that they measure 2¼ inches long.
- To assemble desserts, place a cake round in the center of a 3½-inch ring mold. Brush inside surfaces of ladyfingers lightly with orange juice. Stand rounded end up inside ring mold around cake circle. Spoon about ⅓ cup mousse into mold. Repeat with remaining cake rounds, ladyfingers, orange juice, and mousse. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, remove ring mold, and tie with a pretty ribbon. Garnish each with a whole strawberry.
At first look, you’re probably thinking the same thing I did…”What the heck happened to these Strawberries??’ These are not, if fact, Strawberries but are a close cousin called Pineberries. I know, crazy looking, right?
Per their commercial producer, VitalBerry:
Pineberries are actually the oldest strawberry variety and were brought from Chile to France in the 1700’s. Originally strawberries were white in south America and Red in north America (known as scarlets)…
Pineberries are much smaller than the strawberries we are used to seeing today and what makes their appearance so distinct is their white flesh which is studded with red seeds. The aroma and flavour of pineberries never disappoints – the striking berries have a pineapple flavour.
I must get my hands on some of these. They combine two of my favorite flavors in a cool looking exterior. My mind is already whirling with reverse-color recipe ideas. Any one ever seen these in person? Wonder if there is a pineberry recipe database out there somewhere…