Lunch · salad · Side dish

Mason Jar Salads and Homemade Dressings

We eat lots of salads at our house, so that means we need salad dressings. I like Ranch, but that can be pretty boring after a while! I love to make my own dressings for three reasons:

  1. To add variety and freshness to our meals
  2. To add the right flavors with the type of salad I’ve made
  3. To be able to control the ingredients.

I’ve recently tried two new dressing recipes and they were so fresh and delicious that I just have to share them with you!

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

Since my basil is flourishing so beautifully right now, a recipe for a Green Goddess Dressing caught my eye in Ina Garten”s cookbook. It tasted so fresh on just lettuce and tomatoes. It was a perfect summer salad!

Bibb Salad with Basil Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup good mayonnaise =)

1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)

2 teaspoons anchovy paste – I didn’t use this and it was still delicious!

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup sour cream

3 heads Bibb lettuce

2 to 3 tomatoes

Directions

  1. Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. (If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.)
  2. Cut each head of lettuce into quarters, remove some of the cores, and arrange on 6 salad plates. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and add to the plates. Pour on the dressing and serve.

The other dressing I made was a Poppy Seed Dressing to go on a salad that has strawberries and blueberries in the greens. Panera Bread has a salad like this that I love, and I was trying to replicate it. Here’s what I came up with:

Poppy Seed Dressing

  • ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups canola oil; or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients together in a mason jar and shake well. Store in refrigerator.

This dressing is really good on a salad with fruit. I made up the salads in Mason jars for easy lunches, and it was so nice to have the noon meal at my fingertips! I will be making more of these!

To make the Mason jar salad, I put a little less than 1/4 cup of the dressing in the bottom of the jar and then on top of the dressing, I layered…

  • Strawberries
  • Blue Cheese
  • Blueberries
  • 1 Cup packed lettuce greens – I used Iceberg lettuce, Romaine and Spinach
  • Chopped walnuts

You could top the salad with a protein, like chicken. Be creative and use what you love. Change or omit the cheese. Add pecans or almonds instead of walnuts. Just layer in all the things you salad needs. I’ve read that these salad jars will stay fresh in the fridge up to five days. Of course that would also be determined by the freshness of all your ingredients.
To serve the salad, simply dump it out onto a plate. The dressing will end up on top and it will be the easiest lunch ever!

I’ve shared a couple of other dressings that I make often here and here. These only take a few minutes to whip up, and they make an ordinary salad pretty amazing!

What is your favorite salad and dressing?

Refresh your salad with a homemade dressing!

5 thoughts on “Mason Jar Salads and Homemade Dressings

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