Make-ahead Jar Salad
This Make-ahead Jar Salad is summer in a jar. The salad is fresh, crispy, flavorsome and adaptable, not to mention the excitement it creates at the table when it is turned out. Combining your favourite fruit, vegetables and herbs ahead of time is a great time saver on the day of entertaining or if you are on the run.
The idea is very simple, put your favourite salad dressing at the bottom, the dressing in this recipe is wonderful. Add chopped tomatoes and onions to the dressing this gives a sweetness to the salad. Then layer up the ingredients that may benefit from sitting on the dressing like aubergine, chickpeas or corn. Pushing the ingredients down a little as you are layering up. Ending with the cucumbers, salad leaves, herbs and everything that will take on liquid and go soggy on top.
Close the lid pop the jar into the fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. The next day turn out the salad onto a lipped platter or into a bowl at work. This Make-ahead Jar Salad is one of the most delicious salads you will eat.
- To be griddled
- 1 aubergine or 20 slices, 1 cm thick
- 2 baby marrows or 30 slices 1 cm thick
- 3 Portabello mushrooms, sliced 1 cm. horizontally
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- ½ cucumber cubed
- 1 red pepper cubed
- a handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 31/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- Oil the pan, not the vegetables.
- Spray a griddle pan with oil, this reduces the amount of oil in the dish and produces a better char on the vegetables.
- If you have a larger griddle pan you can use that as it will speed up the cooking.
- Leaving space around each vegetable to avoid the vegetables from sweating.
- Griddle the vegetables until you have some lovely char marks on each side.
- Chop the onions, cucumber, tomatoes and red peppers into 2cm cubes and set aside.
- Add the dressing ingredients into the base of the jar and give it a little stir, add the tomatoes and onions, layer the aubergine on top of the tomatoes and dressing, press each layer down a little as you go, then add the courgettes, red peppers, cucumber, and finally the parsley.
- Pop the lid on and store in the fridge overnight.
- The next day just before serving, remove the salad jar from the fridge and turn the jar upside down a few times with the lid on.
- Using a large serving platter with a lip or bowl, turn the salad upside down, the bottom layers may need a little nudge with a fork to come out. Toss the salad with two spoons and enjoy.
The dressing needed to be halved if you are not adding griddled vegetables that will soak up the dressing.
This can serve 6-8 as a side salad as part of a larger buffet and 4 as a very generous main course.
For a BBQ this will feed at least 8 people if you have another salad option too.