Fall Produce To Go

Contributed by Dana Curley, Immaculata University Nutrition Student

My husband and I love salads in a jar. He brings his to work where his coworkers ooh and aah over his healthy, colorful lunch. I love that a nutritious, gourmet meal is waiting for me in the fridge with zero prep time involved during the busy weekday. Sure, they are trendy; but also ingenious in their simplicity. It doesn’t take any more time to make 6 salads as it does to make one. Plus, the quart-size mason jars we use are reusable and even recyclable if the time ever comes.

Fall vegetables are perfect for jarred salads. I like to start with a home-made vinaigrette, followed by a roasted vegetable: beets, butternut, kambocha, and acorn squash are sweet, vibrant and hold up well. All are excellent sources of vitamin A. Next up is a cruciferous vegetable. Wondering what to do with that cheddar or Romanesco cauliflower? Or that giant head of broccoli? Put it on display in your salad. 

As you assemble your salad, the majority of the veggie ingredients (roasted veggies + cruciferous) will fill one third to one half of the jar: the rest of that space is for your greens. They stay crisp and fresh far away from that dressing. When it is time to eat, invert the jar in a bowl and give the jar a good shake.

Your salad would work in the old Tupperware container, too, but I find that the layering of the ingredients quarantines the vegetables and maintains their unique flavors and colors. No purple goat cheese, please!

Autumn Salad in a Jar

Serves 6
Vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon Dijon

3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon herbs de Provence or thyme leaves

Black pepper, to taste

Salad

3 medium beets, roasted and cubed

2 cups cooked kidney beans

3 cups Romanesco cauliflower or broccoli, cut into small florets

4 oz goat cheese

10 cups salad greens, spinach, or kale

¼ cup chopped parsley

Method

To roast beets, preheat oven to 400°. Remove greens and scrub beets. Wrap clean beets together in aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour or until tender. Allow beets to cool at room temperature. When cool enough to handle, slice ends off beets and slip them out of their skins.

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl. Pour one and a half tablespoons of dressing into clean, empty jars.

Divide beets and next 5 ingredients into jars.  Replace lid and refrigerate for up to four days.