What can be said about salad that hasn’t already been said? It’s an amazing and delicious way to consume greens- and, the best part, is that salad is completely bespoke. Salad, however, isn’t exactly what I would call food on the go; the difficulty being that salad cannot be dressed until the moment it is to be eaten- which makes for hectic times. I cannot tell you how many times I have discovered salad dressing all over the bottom of my bag; or worse yet, having a purse full of separate containers with the various accoutrements that make up a salad.
Enter salad in a jar.
This trend has swept the internet; and with a four hour road trip on the horizon, I knew this was my moment to get caught up in the wave. There is something about road trips that brings out the worst in eating habits; it could be the road side fast food and convenience stores but I think it has to do with preparation. I’m all for convenience; but trans-fatty acids and dastardly food practices deter me from those options. The aforementioned preparation is key; and I have prepared salad in jar to nourish us on our journey!
The best thing about salad is that it is custom; it really is whatever we want it to be. This version is curry and lemon scented through and through. My dressing is a lemon tahini creation, adapted from this months Alive Magazine; and the tofu is curry and sesame flavored- what can I say, I was in the mood for sesame! In addition to dressing and tofu, my jar salad has quinoa (of course), cherry tomatoes, arugula and red onion. Now a word on red onion, when eaten raw, it can be quite an acquired taste, as it is rather pungent; but if you soak chopped red onion in water for 5 minutes, it mutes the pungent flavor, leaving behind mildness- which most people can get behind!
There certainly is an art form to building a salad in jar; it is essential to keep the dressing away from the greens, until serving; here is the order in which my salad was built, taking heed to keeping certain things separated.
From the bottom up
- Cherry Tomato
Generally, when it comes time to serve, one would simply shake the jar to dress the whole salad; however, my dressing is thick, so a much more vigorous shake is needed. But if you use a vinaigrette, then a light shake should do it.
Perfect for picnics, road trips…and anything in between- salad in a jar anyone?!
Lemon Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini, sesame seed paste
1/4 lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup parsley leaves
In a food processor, combine tahini, lemon juice, zest, garlic, cumin and parsley; turn on the processor and slowly add the water, if the mixture is still too thick, add more water in tablespoon increments.
350 g firm tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
In a non stick pan, heat coconut oil and sesame oil on medium high heat. Add curry powder, stir; and add tofu cubes. Cook, stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes, so that the tofu becomes caramelized and crispy. Remove from heat, and place tofu on a plate, lined with paper towel. Cool before placing in jars for salad.