Canning jars are awesome. No matter if you use them for serving beverages, as a vase for flowers, or as a portable serving solution, canning jars are inexpensive and also rather cool. I have quite an assortment of canning jars: Mason, Ball, and Kerr are some of the brands you'll see in stores. And if you have some of the blue or antique jars... lucky you!
This past weekend, I shared one of my ideas for spring and summer entertaining with guests at The Trussville Literary Club's tablescape event. Everyone loved my "salad in a jar" so I thought I'd share it with you. There are lots of variations on this theme. Be creative and come up with your own!
Salad in a Jar: Layered Spinach & Fruit Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Functional, easy, and pretty! If you are going to prep the day before your event, you probably should add the dressing just before serving so everything doesn't get soggy. But you can prep up to four hours before with the dressing in the bottom of this recipe and you'll be fine... but keep the jars chilled on ice, in the fridge, or in a cooler. And it is a perfect solution for picnics, too!
1- 9 ounce package of fresh baby spinach leaves, wash and remove the stems
1- 16 ounce container fresh strawberries, washed, dried, hulled, and sliced
1- 15 ounce can mandarin orange slices, drained
2 cups walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1- 6 ounce container Belle Chevre Belle and the Bee Breakfast goat cheese (or if you cannot find it, make your own by swirling honey into goat cheese to make it creamy and slightly sweet)
Poppyseed Dressing recipe (or your favorite dressing)
Start by spooning about 2-3 tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the jar. Enough so you can see the layer of dressing. Next, add about 1 1/2 cups of the spinach leaves. Layer the strawberry slices around the outside of the jar and work your way in so they look pretty. Do the same with the orange slices. Next, add the walnuts and top with a thin layer of the goat cheese. Secure the lid and chill until serving time.
Poppyseed Dressing Recipe
1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 cup sweet white onion, like a Vadallia, chopped
1/2 cup plain yoghurt (some people prefer mayo instead)
2 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon poppyseeds
a bit of water to thin, if required
Add everything but the oil and the poppyseeds into a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth and there is no trace of the onion. Reduce to the lowest speed and stream in the vegetable oil. Turn off the blender and add the poppyseeds. If you find it too thick (which I love for fruit) you can thin with a bit of water. I use an immersion blender for this recipe. It's fast and easy to clean up!
OR buy Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing at the store. It's pretty awesome and worth the price for a special occasion!
FOR MORE TIPS AND IDEAS ON USING CANNING JARS, VISIT THE BALL WEBSITE!