Normally, I would put mason jars alongside adult colouring books in the category of ‘trends I refuse to understand’. But layered salads make sense beyond your inner desires for indie-twee aesthetics, and might just be the only ergonomic use for mason jars out. 

Laugh All Ya Want, But Layering Salads In A Mason Jar Makes Complete Sense

(Image: TheTelegraph.com)

While the Instagram-leaning looks are new, layered salads are an American classic. Between the 1950s and 1970s, seven-layer salads were all the rage in the mid-west. While the classics are more pot-luck style bowls, in 2017, they have more of a healthy office-lunch slant. 

First thing to know: don’t eat them directly from the jar. It’s incredibly awkward and messy. Besides, they’re designed to be tipped out into a bowl, with the jar’s top ingredients actually being the bottom base of the salad. If layered correctly, they hold really well while traveling. Smart, huh?

Here are two ideas to start off with, though since the layered concept works with most salads, you should play around with your go-to (or maybe try three of our faves).

The main thing is to follow this safe packing order so everything’s not hella soggy when you dig in. Start with dressing at the bottom, then anything chunky to create a barrier (chicken, vegetables, fruit), everything else, then the greens, which will become the base.

PEAR, POMEGRANATE AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD

Laugh All Ya Want, But Layering Salads In A Mason Jar Makes Complete Sense

(Photo: FakeFoodFree.com)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pear
  • Spinach leaves
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • 200gms chopped pecans
  • Blue cheese

This is a wonderfully simple autumnal salad, where the sweetness of pear and pomegranates play off the tart blue cheese.

There’s barely any prep too: you’ll need to core and slice the pears and chop the pecans, but otherwise you just pop it all in. Starting from the bottom, layer it like so: pears, spinach, pomegranate, spinach, pecans, spinach, blue cheese. When serving, add a little sherry vinegar and olive oil, if it’s handy.

SPICY PEANUT SOBA NOODLE SALAD


Laugh All Ya Want, But Layering Salads In A Mason Jar Makes Complete Sense

(Photo: FoxesLovesLemons.com)

What you’ll need:

  • Soba noodles
  • Shelled edemame
  • Red capsicum
  • Two carrots
  • Spring onions
  • Crunchy rice noodles

Home-made peanut sauce (if you’re lazy, store bought is fine):

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons sambal chilli paste (Asian aisle, gang)
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Since the best part of Asian salads is the combination of crunch and sauce, layering helps prevent our mortal enemy, sogginess, from making an appearance. Here, we’re making four serves, since it’s the sort of thing you’ll want again.

While you cook the soba noodles, following the packet’s instructions, grate up the carrots and cut the spring onions. For the dressing, whisky together the peanut butter, sambal, soy sauce and rice vinegar, slowly adding in oil as it soaks in. Once it’s of the right consistency, stir sesame seeds throughout.

Layer the dressing first, then noodles, capsicum, edamame, carrots, spring onions, rice noodles.


BONUS: THE CLASSIC SEVEN-LAYER SALAD


Laugh All Ya Want, But Layering Salads In A Mason Jar Makes Complete Sense

Did we mention its American? (Photo: thepioneerwoman.com)

This is salad for those who hate salad but promised to bring one to the family lunch. 

At the bottom are the leaves: start with iceberg lettuce, cut up, then add the spinach. You’ll need to cook bacon and hard boil a few eggs for the next layers. Give them both a bit of a rough chop – eggs first, then bacon. 

Next up, sliced tomatoes then finely cut spring onion. Use your cheese of choice next, grated. Pop on top a layer of peas – they can still be a little frozen if you’re not eating immediately. 

Now it’s time for the dressing, equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream with a teaspoon of sugar. I never said this was healthy, though you could pretend by shoving it into a jar.

Photo: FitStar.com