Fruits and vegetables are so pretty that I often want to make them the stars of my feast, and layering a salad in a jar is one of my favorite ways to do just that. Here’s a step-by-step approach for making the recipe Seven Layer Salad in a Mason Jar with variation ideas, too.
Select your jars and serving ware
This recipe calls for 12 fluid ounce mason jars, which makes a main-dish size salad for each person. For a side salad you could choose smaller jars or serve one jar for two people to share. For a small salad try large baby food jars – these make great take-to-work snack salads that don’t need any preparation at the office. For the larger mason jars I like to use a long fork or chopsticks (my favorite salad-eating utensil) to reach the bottom of the jar.
Layering the ingredients in the jars makes a lovely presentation and ensures that everyone gets some of each ingredient. However some people prefer to toss their salads, so you can also set out small serving bowls next to each jar for that purpose.
Prep the Salad Ingredients
I like to lay out all of the ingredients I plan to use before I start. Thoroughly rinse all produce ingredients. For this recipe I used all plant-based ingredients because I wanted to have a variety of color, and I prepared the avocado last to keep it nice and green.
Dice 2 Persian (sometimes called “mini”) cucumbers (according Houweling’s it is better to leave the peel on), shred 1 cup red cabbage (or make it easy and buy pre-shredded cabbage), have ready 1 cup cooked, shelled edamame, stem and slice 4 each orange and yellow mini bell into rings, coarsely chop 1 cup cooked artichoke hearts and 1 1/3 cup tomatoes. Dice 1 California Avocado and sprinkle it with a little citrus juice.
Place the heaviest ingredients toward the bottom
The layers don’t have to be perfect but they look very nice when the ingredients are in even rows. For this recipe I start with cucumbers, then red cabbage, then the edamame, then the mini bell peppers for a nice color break and then the artichoke hearts. You could also try zucchini, radicchio, fresh spring peas, chopped or sliced fruit, diced meats and cheeses, legumes, cooked grains, mushrooms and chopped, blanched veggies such as cauliflower or broccoli.
Top with more delicate ingredients
Avocados, tomatoes and other soft fruits and vegetables can get crushed under the weight of firmer or heavier items, so leave these for the top layers.
I like the fresh citrus Dijon dressing in this Mason jar salad recipe, which can be poured over the salad ingredients in each jar before serving. Seal with the jar lid and then just gently invert the jar a few times to disperse the dressing just before serving. Any of your favorite vinaigrette dressings will work this way, but it is better to serve creamy dressings on the side or the pretty salad in a jar won’t be very visible behind a coating of dressing.
Another option is to place the dressing in the jar before layering the salad ingredients. If using this option be sure to place heartier ingredients such as legumes or other ingredients you want to marinate toward the bottom layers of the salad. You can also simply serve the mason jars salad “naked” with dressing on the side so each person can add just the amount of dressing desired.
What ingredients would make up your ideal avocado salad in a jar?
SEVEN-LAYER AVOCADO SALAD IN A MASON JAR
Preparation: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 250
Fat per serving: 15 g
Stack seven layers of California Avocadoes and chopped or shredded fruit and veggies in a clear glass jar for a beautiful presentation.
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup cooked edamame
8 orange and/or yellow mini bell peppers, stemmed and sliced in rings
1 cup coarsely chopped cooked artichoke hearts
1 1/3 cup chopped Houweling’s TomatoesTM
1 ripe, medium Fresh California Avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp. fresh citrus juice (lemon and/or orange or lime)*
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. country Dijon or spicy mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
8 leaves fresh basil, minced
¼ tsp. cracked black pepper, or more to taste
Salt to taste
Layer the cucumbers, cabbage, edamame, peppers, artichoke hearts and tomatoes in 12 fl. oz. glass jars.
Sprinkle a little of the juice on the diced avocado to coat. Place avocado on top of the tomatoes.
Place the remaining juice and ingredients in a small jar with a lid; shake until well-blended. Pour dressing over each of the layered salads. Seal with jar lid and serve.
*You can make the dressing sweeter or more tart to your liking depending on which citrus juice you use.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 250; Total Fat 15 g (Sat 2 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 10 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 170 mg; Potassium 1000 mg; Total Carbohydrates 26 g; Dietary Fiber 12 g; Total Sugars 8 g; Protein 9 g; Vitamin A 918 IU; Vitamin C 90 mg; Calcium 90 mg; Iron 3 mg; Vitamin D 0 IU; Folate 230 mcg; Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.23 g