This is one of my all-time favorite party recipes... Serving guests a salad in a Jar is so easy, so versatile and it can be used for so many different occasions. In fact, it is also perfect for lunch on the go or for the kids. Layer your favorite ingredients in a jar and chill. When you are ready to serve, simply shake it up. That's it!
If you are going to prep the day before your event, you probably should add the dressing just before serving so everything doesn't get soggy and just put it right on top. But you can prep up to four hours before with the dressing in the bottom and you'll be fine... but keep the jars chilled on ice, in the fridge, or in a cooler. And it is a perfect solution for picnics, too!
LAYERED SPINACH AND STRAWBERRY SALAD IN A JAR WITH HOMEMADE POPPYSEED DRESSING
1- 9 ounce package of fresh baby spinach leaves, wash and remove the stems
1- 16 ounce container fresh strawberries, washed, dried, hulled, and sliced
1- 15 ounce can Mandarin orange slices, drained
2 cups walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1- 6 ounce container Belle Chevre Belle and the Bee Breakfast goat cheese (or if you cannot find it, make your own by swirling honey into goat cheese to make it creamy and slightly sweet)
Poppyseed Dressing recipe (or your favorite dressing
Start by spooning about 2-3 tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the jar. Use enough so you can see the layer of dressing. Next, add about 1 1/2 cups of the spinach leaves. Layer the strawberry slices around the outside of the jar and work your way in so they look pretty. Do the same with the orange slices. Next, add the walnuts and top with a thin layer of the goat cheese. You want to be able to see each layer- the colorful layers is what is so pretty about this salad. Secure the lid and chill until serving time.
HOMEMADE POPPYSEED DRESSING
One of my summer favorites, this is also a delicious dip or dressing for fresh fruit.
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 cup sweet white onion, like a Vidalia, chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt (some people prefer mayo instead)
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon poppyseeds
a bit of water to thin, if desired
Add everything but the oil and the poppyseeds into a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth and there is no trace of the onion. Reduce to the lowest speed and stream in the vegetable oil. Turn off the blender and add the poppyseeds. If you find it too thick (which I love for fruit) you can thin with a bit of water for salad dressing. I use an immersion blender for this recipe. It's fast and easy to clean up.