Layered Jar Salad and White Balsamic Vinagairette

If you have been following our recipes all week, you will have noticed a trend: serving a group of people with “Bar” food. It’s basically an elegant all you can eat buffet type hosting. Which gets a really bad rep, I think. A create your own meal means no one can complain. I hate complainers when it comes to food (are you listening, adorable children?) So if I can do what I can to provide options to my guests, I will.

At this point we have welcomed the guests, greeted them in the morning, and now it’s time to go off on an adventure. On one particular day, our group of travelers were headed to the hills for wine country touring. We had indulged in an incredible meal the night before and were looking to lighten things up.  A salad overlooking this view with a delicious glass of wine in hand was exactly what we needed.

I laid out a variety of chopped vegetables, mostly leftovers from our snacking throughout the weekend, light proteins like chickpeas and hard boiled eggs, chunks of cheese and charcuterie not eaten at the wine and cheese gathering, and some steak we had brought home from our incredible Argentine meal. We cooked up a quick batch of quinoa and found some chopped nuts. I whipped up a delicious vinaigrette with the white balsamic used in the pickled strawberries (which, now that I think of it, would have also been fantastic on a salad. Next time.) I mentioned before but let me suggest again, that White Balsamic was a really great find. It was lighter than a typical Balsamic, great for summer flavors. I mixed in a little yogurt dip with my dressing as well because I just love a creamy dressing. And then finally, thinly chopped hearts of romaine  rounded out the final step of the salad prep. 

Each guest was then invited to take a mason jar and layer their salad with whatever they wanted. The dressing goes in the jar first, followed by proteins, then veggies and ending with the romaine at the top. Having this set up not only made for easy transport, but it also lighten up my responsibility in the morning. Again, guests do the work and come out on top with a salad of their own choosing. A win win for all.

These salads are not just for hosting. You can make a bunch for your own lunches throughout the week and they keep very well in the fridge. One assembly line on the weekend makes for a delicious and healthy lunch all week. Yet another win-win.

And don’t they just look so cute in those jars? I’m not over the mason jar yet.

Hey Sis, try this...

 Layered Jar Salad and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Layer your salad in a pint jar in this order:

2 Tablespoon Dressing (See recipe vinaigrette below) or to taste

Protein: Cheese, beans, chopped meat, eggs, toasted nuts

Chopped Vegetables and Fruit

Chopped Salad Leaf

White Balsamic Viniagrette

3 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together first three ingredients. Add oil gradually and season to taste.