Layering is trending as a light and refreshing approach that makes you want to eat more salad. The contrast of different colored vegetables (and fruits) make the food all the more tempting.
This recipe is by Zac Benedict for the California Avocado Commission.
This recipe uses 12-ounce mason jars, a main-dish size salad for each person. You can also use 16.5-ounce mason jars. The handled jars can be used for food or drinks.
If you don’t want to buy mason jars, check to see what you already have; for example, glass dessert bowls or jumbo wine goblets. Use smaller jars for a side salad. Zac suggests collecting large baby food jars, and for the larger mason jars uses chopsticks, which easily reach the bottom of the jar.
The idea is to eat the the layered salad from the jar, although Zac advises that you can also set out serving bowls for people who want to toss their salads.
VEGETABLE & FRUIT OPTIONS
Select vegetables with a variety of color. For example, if you like scallions but have too much green, substitute red onion. If you’re using red tomatoes, use orange and yellow bell peppers instead of read ones.
Green vegetables: broccoli, edamame (soybeans), herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, parsley), green beans, green peas (frozen are fine), mesclun or other salad greens, snow peas, spring peas, sugar snap peas
Is there a prettier salad? Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.
Orange vegetables: bell pepper strips, carrots (baby carrots, sliced or shaved carrots), cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, kumquats, grape tomatoes, mandarin wedges, mango, sweet potatoes (cubed or sliced)
Purple vegetables: cauliflower, grapes, heirloom tomatoes, kale, Peruvian potatoes, red cabbage, purple raisins (you can plump them in cider)
Red vegetables: beets, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, dried cherries or cranberries, grape tomatoes, lady apples, mini red jacket potatoes, pomegranate arils, radicchio, radishes, red grapes/champagne grapes, red onion, sundried tomatoes, tomatoes
Yellow vegetables: artichoke hearts, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, lemon peel, miniature pattypan squash, star fruit (carambola), yellow squash
White vegetables: cauliflower, cucumbers, daikon, Granny Smith apples, grapes, mushrooms, water chestnuts, zucchini
You can also add diced meats and cheeses, cooked grains, beans and legumes.
Prepare the ingredients; then, it’s easy to
layer. Photo courtesy California Avocado
1. LAY out the rinsed, dried, cut produce ingredients.
2. PLACE the heaviest ingredients on the bottom and the most crushable items at the top.
Try to be as even as possible: The layers don’t have to be perfect but they look very nice when the ingredients are in neat rows.
3. CHOOSE your dressing; keep it separate until ready to eat. This recipe uses a fresh citrus Dijon dressing, which is poured over the salad ingredients before serving. Then, seal with the lid and then gently invert the jar a few times to disperse the dressing.
Another option is to place the dressing in the jar before layering the salad ingredients.
RECIPE: 7 LAYER SALAD
Ingredients For 4 Servings
2 Persian cucumbers, diced with peel on
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
8 each orange and yellow mini bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced into rings (or substitute equivalent large bell peppers)
1 cup cooked artichoke hearts, coarsely chopoped
1-1/3 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, sliced
1 avocado, diced and sprinkled with citrus juice to prevent browning
RECIPE: DIJON CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
3 tablespoons fresh citrus juice (lemon and/or orange or lime)*
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon or spicy mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
8 leaves fresh basil, minced
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1. PLACE the ingredients in a small jar with a lid; shake until well-blended.
2. POUR dressing over each of the layered salads. Seal with jar lid and serve.
*You can make the dressing sweeter or more tart to your liking depending on which citrus juice you use.
Find more delicious recipes at CaliforniaAvocado.com.