Salad in a jar

March 20, 2012 § 4 Comments

Dave and I love salads, but we don’t usually enjoy preparing them.  These little salads in a jar are the exception.  Not only are they fun to make, but they’re also fun to eat.  We enjoy making them for picnics and other casual get-togethers.  Our guests seem to love these too.  We’ll place a few of these salads in a basket, and then haul them out to the duckpond as part of a casual picnic supper.  Try these with grilled or fried chicken, some fresh cornbread, a bottle of pinot grigio or chardonnay, and you’ll have a lovely meal.  Quinoa is wonderfully healthy, too.

These also keep very well.  The recipe makes 12 salads, which is plenty for several meals for us.  For this recipe, you’ll need 12 1-pint canning jars with lids.

Libby’s salad in a jar

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced

24 grape or cherry tomatoes, each cut in half

36 kalamata olives, pitted

1 cucumber, deseeded, and coarsely chopped

1 8-ounce block feta cheese, thinly sliced

16-ounces fresh spinach

Cook the quinoa in the two cups of water, according to package directions.  We usually just cook quinoa in our rice cooker, but cooking it on the stovetop works just as well.

Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, fresh oregano, and a few grinds of freshly grated black pepper.  Stir about 1/2 a cup of the dressing into the cooked quinoa.  Divide the quinoa between 12 1-pint wide mouth canning jars.  On top of the quinoa in each jar, layer on the following ingredients in the following order:  red onion slivers, 4 cherry tomato halves, 3 olives, cucumber chunks, and several slices of feta.  Pack the spinach leaves in last.  Place the caps on the jars, and refrigerate.  Up to 6 hours before serving, open the jars, and pour 1 tablespoon of the dressing into each.

At serving time, have each diner shake his jar with the lid on.  Remove the lid, and eat right from the jar.  Delicious!

Serves 12.

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§ 4 Responses to Salad in a jar

  • Viveka says:

    What a brilliant idea – with jars for picnic – also the look of the salad … great. Now I run into something new again – quinoa, for me it look similar to cous cous ????? I’m total wrong here. Looked it up, but didn’t become any wiser. *smile Great picture.

    • Libby says:

      It looks very much like couscous, and indeed you may certainly substitute cooked couscous for the quinoa in this salad. Unlike couscous however, quinoa is a grain. It is highly nutritious, and can be found in health food areas in grocery stores. Usually it is in a small box.

  • df says:

    Oh my goodness, these are so gosh darn adorable! Sounds totally delicious and the method is very appealing. Love this.

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