If you are looking for ways to add more salad to your life here’s a fun, make-ahead solution that even includes its own dressing!
Pull out a wide mouthed Mason jar, pour in a little salad dressing, then pack in ingredients—layering heavier items on bottom and ending with more fragile vegetables and lettuce on top. While at it, make a few extra to pull out as needed; they will hold several days in the fridge without lettuce becoming soggy.
The star of this salad is the nuanced peppery le Puy lentil, a firm, dark green variety that holds its shape very well. They can be found in better grocery stores and in most bulk food sections; but if not available substitute garbanzo beans.
Radishes, fennel or celery are all excellent salad companions here, along with contrasting narrow strips of young zucchini. At the base of the salad dressing, a spicy or grainy mustard not only provides a bright bite, it also acts as an emulsifier to bind the dressing from separation while it stands.
When ready, give the salad a good shake and empty contents into a pasta bowl or other wide bowl. Toss well to distribute dressing and enjoy.
Layered Lentil Salad in a Jar
2 to 3 tablespoons Mustard Dressing (below) or favorite salad dressing
¼ cup thinly sliced fennel or celery, or a combination with a few fronds or leaves
¼ cup radishes (about 8), cut lengthwise in eighths
⅓ cup le Puy lentils, cooked, or garbanzo beans
3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved + 3 sliced Kalamata olives
½ baby zucchini, cut into spirals or shaved strips with a potato peeler
1-2 cups mesclun, or other lettuce blend
1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seed
Mustard Dressing (enough for 3- 4 servings)
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Spicy Brown or Grainy mustard
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper
⅓ cup olive oil
3-4 cup wide mouth Mason jar and/or
Pasta bowl or other large wide bowl
- To prepare dressing, combining vinegar, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper, then add the olive oil and whisk or shake until thorough incorporated.
- In a mason jar pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons dressing.
- Pack ingredients in individual layers in the order listed. Substitute similar items as desired, placing heavier, denser on bottom, followed by beans and proteins, then softer ingredients, and finish with lettuce or sprouts. Serves 1.