SALADS BY THE JAR

 SALADS BY THE JAR

The concept of salad making has been through a bit of a revolution in terms of its looks and presentation in recent times. While there were times we used to wait by a live counter or an interactive salad bar in hotels, watching and sharing ideas, conversations on their elements, tricks of the trade, innovations etc today we get to see a new look to it, which also makes it convenient from the grab and go point of view.

A salad usually has four parts to it and technically speaking each one of it has a specific purpose, intention and meaning. The base of a salad is basically assorted lettuce leaves, greens- crispy and crunchy upon which we place our tossed salad to make it look attractive and add a feel of freshness. The next element is the body and this talks about the main composition of the salad be it one or two ingredients like pasta and chicken or be it a combination like a tossed salad with carrots, cucumber, capsicum, tomatoes etc. The dressing is the most interesting part of the salad and our next element of taste and moisture content which adds a gloss and shine besides a tartness to the salads, be it olive oil based or with mayonnaise, lime or vinegar a dressing always means a lot in a salad. The last element is the garnish of a salad, a focal point, a centre of attraction is a must to give it a feel of completeness on the plate. Be it black/green olives, gherkins, cheese, peppers, seeds, fresh herbs/ microgreens etc there is always a great impression which a garnish can offer in a salad plate

The jar concept of salads has been recently introduced and it talks of assembling ingredients as per choice via a see-through glass jar which adds an impressive look as well as a varied approach of layering up ingredients as per recipes and either drizzling down the dressings as well or they can be offered separately and be shaken and added just before munching on the salad.

Here are a few simple recipes using Salads by the Jar concept:

ASIAN NOODLE JAR SALAD

Ingredients:

For the base of the salad:

1 cup assorted lettuce leaves- iceberg, Lollorosso etc

For the body of the salad:

1 cup boiled rice noodles.

½ cup blanched edamame beans/ green beans/ peas

½ cup boiled American sweet corn

¼ cup shredded carrots & capsicums

½ cup saute mushrooms

For the dressing of the salad:

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

2-3 tsp lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp mustard paste

1 tsp soya sauce

1 tsp red chili sauce

2 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp honey

2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds

2 tsp flax seeds/ melon seeds

For the garnish of the salad:

2-3 tsp Roasted crushed peanuts

2-3 tsp micro-greens

Olives/ cherry tomatoes etc.

Method:

Pre-prep all the ingredients for the salad recipe. Assemble all the elements and start with the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small jar and shaking it well, keep it chilled until used. Now start with the salad jar assembly, place the crispy lettuce leaves at the base and start layering the ingredients of the body for the salad one by one and sprinkle a little seasoning on the way. If desired, we can spoon in the dressing as well along during the assembly stage. Garnish the salad, cover it up and close the jar and either chill it for around 15-20 mins or serve directly as well.

 

CHICKPEA NUTRI JAR SALAD

Ingredients:

For the base of the salad:

1 cup assorted lettuce leaves

For the body of the salad:

1 cup chickpeas, boiled

½ cup cucumber, diced

½ cup tomato, cubed

1 cup cooked oats/ quinoa

½ cup shallots, cubed

1 cup blanched spinach leaves

6-8 no mint leaves

2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves

2-3 tsp basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup purple cabbage, shredded

For the dressing of the salad:

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp garlic chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

½ tsp mixed herbs

½ tsp chili flakes

2 tsp honey

2-3 tsp tomato ketchup

8-10 mint leaves

4-5 basil leaves

2-3 tsp white vinegar

2-3 tsp mayonnaise/ hung curd

For the garnish of the salad:

2-3 tsp sunflower seeds/ chia seeds

2-3 tsp olives, sliced

2-3 tsp micro-greens

Method:

Pre-prep all the elements of the salad by the jar. Start by combining the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl/ jar, mix or shake well and keep chilled until used. Start assembling the jar with the elements of the body for the salad one by one and top it up all the way creating color contrasts and textures. Finally place the garnishes at the top and fill up the jar. Cover and cool/ chill the jar for 15-20 mins and serve with the dressing.

 

GRAIN-N-PULSE JAR SALAD

Ingredients:

For the base of the salad:

1 cup assorted lettuce leaves

For the body of the salad:

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup sliced/chopped spring onions

1 cup cooked brown rice/ oats/ barley

1 cup shredded purple cabbage

½ cup boiled whole masoor dal/ assorted pulses

½ cup shredded white cabbage

1 cup blanched kale/ spinach

For the dressing of the salad:

1 cup Greek yogurt/ hung curd, well beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

½ tsp chaat masala powder

8-10 mint leaves

½ tsp mango pickle masala

2 tsp cream cheese

½ tsp roasted crushed cumin powder

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp chopped coriander

½ grated cucumber

For the garnish of the salad:

3-4 no dates, chopped

2-3 tsp sliced nuts, assorted

4-5 no cherry tomatoes

Fresh herbs/ micro-greens as desired.

Method:

Pre-prep all the ingredients for the salad. Start up with the dressing by blending all the ingredients well in a bowl using a whisk or hand blender and chill it. Now assemble all the elements for the body of the salad in the jar one by one and make it look attractive alternating the varied colors and textures all the way to the top. Finally place the garnishes and close the jar, allow to chill for 15-20 mins, serve it with the dressing, toss just before eating or drizzle it along.

 

LAYERED PASTA JAR SALAD

Ingredients:

For the base of the salad:

1 cup assorted greens/ lettuce leaves

For the body of the salad:

1 and a half cup macaroni/ boiled pasta

1 cup blanched french beans

½ cup assorted bell peppers, cubed

1-2 small red ripe tomatoes, cubed

½ cup American sweet corn, boiled

1-2 tsp Assorted fresh herbs of your choice

½ cup boiled black eyed peas/ chauli

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing of the salad:

1 cup mayonnaise

1-2 tsp peanut butter

½ tsp lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp mustard paste

½ tsp Capsico

2 tsp parsley chopped

½ cup tuna fish from the tin, drained and used

2 tsp white wine

2-3 tsp toasted assorted seeds for the crunch

2-3 tsp roasted crushed peanuts

For the garnish of the salad:

2-3 tsp Assorted nuts, sliced

2-3 cherry tomatoes, cut 1 x 2

2-3 black/green olives

2-3 tsp fresh herbs/ parsley/ oregano/ basil leaves.

Method

Pre-prep all the ingredients for the salad by the jar. Start with the ingredients for the dressing and give it a nice mix, store in an air tight container in the fridge until used. Assemble the salad jar by placing the ingredients under the body category one by one all the way until to the top, we can place this tuna mixture dressing as well along the way in between as well for added moisture and flavor. Finally garnish the salad and close the jars with the lids, allow to chill for 15-20 mins and serve cold.

 

NUTTY FRUITY JAR SALAD

Ingredients:

For the base of the salad:

1 cup assorted lettuce leaves, iceberg or Lollorosso

For the body of the salad:

2-3 sliced red radish

½ cucumber, cubed

3-4 no shallots cut 1 x 2

2 med sized tomatoes, cubed

½ cup carrot cubes

½ cup tender coconut malai

2-3 tbsp. Assorted nuts- walnuts/ cashews/ almonds

½ cup pineapple cubes

½ cup sprouts, steamed

For the dressing of the salad:

2-3 tsp olive oil

½ cup orange segments

2-3 tsp date puree

2 tsp flax seeds/ chia seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

½ tsp mustard paste

1 tsp honey

½ tsp chili flakes

2-3 tsp mint leaves

For the garnish of the salad:

½ cup fresh orange segments

¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

2-3 tsp micro-greens/ fresh herbs

Method:

Pre-prep all the ingredients as listed for the salad by the jar. Start mixing up the dressing in a small jar or a bowl, shake/mix well and allow to chill until used. Assemble the ingredients one by one into the salad jar keeping in mind visual appeal and presentation balance as we go along the components of the salad. Top it up all the way with the colorful goodness and crunch of various ingredients and cover the jar, chill for 15-20 mins and serve it alongside the chilled dressing as well. These concepts are also good to carry to work and we can add the dressing instantly just before having the salad for mid- morning break or a brunch/lunch etc.

 

QUINOA RAINBOW JAR SALAD

Ingredients

For the base of the salad:

1 cup assorted salad leaves/greens

For the body of the salad:

1 cup cooked quinoa /oats/ barley/ brown rice

1 cup boiled diced chicken-optional

½ cup boiled American sweet corn

½ cup baked beans in tomato sauce

½ cup red capsicums, cut into small dices

½ cup purple cabbage, shredded

¼ cup carrots, shredded

¼ cup french beans, blanched

1 cup fresh spinach/ kale- steamed/blanched

For the dressing of the salad:

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp mustard paste

½ tsp Capsico sauce

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp. tomato ketchup

1 tsp schezuan chutney

2 tsp jaggery, grated

2-3 tsp sliced almonds/ cashews

2-3 tsp raisins/ apricots cut

2-3 tsp lime juice

All above ingredients to be cooked in a saucepan for 2-3 mins

And then cooled down and kept chilled in a jar.

For the garnish of the salad:

¼ cup cherry tomatoes, cut 1x 2

2-3 black/ green olives

Fresh herbs/ mint/ parsley

Jalapenos/ capers/ gherkins

Method:

Pre-prep all the ingredients for the salad by the jar concept. Assemble the ingredients for the dressing and once cooked for a couple of minutes, cool and store in air-tight jars in the fridge. Assemble the ingredient components for the body of the salad and the base into the glass jar and create a visually appealing look as we move upwards. Once all the ingredients and elements of the salad are placed till the top, cover the jar and chill for 15-20 mins and serve it with the prepared dressing, mix and enjoy the delectable flavours.

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