Last year for Mother's Day our youngest son, then 10-years-old, surprised me with a salad made from sprouted greens that he grew in his bedroom window.
He followed the directions on a package of seeds that his Grand-Maman gave him and patiently grew the greens in a mason jar on his sunny bedroom ledge. On Mother's day, he chopped the greens and tossed them into a bowl with a few other odds and sods he found in the fridge and then proceeded to look up a vinaigrette recipe in one of my cooking magazines (could you die?).... I don't think I've ever tasted anything quite as fresh or delicious in my life (except for everything else my boys make...).
As for mason jars, what can I say, I'm a complete sucker. They remind me of every nostalgia-drenched southern movie I've ever cried over. And let's face it, nothing says home comfort quite like a mason jar.
I think these would be really fun to bring along on a picnic but I particularly like the idea of offering them up as gifts - I'm thinking: hostess; new mom/dad; mother's/father's day; an under the weather friend; or just because... (I don't know 'bout you, but I'd pretty much pass out on the spot if someone showed up at my door with a fresh salad in hand).
The next time I visit my mom, I'll be bringing along a set of these individually portioned salads that she can pop in her fridge and enjoy over consecutive days.
Healthy, Convenient and Oh. So. Yummy!
Sprouted Spring Salad in a Jar
- 1 cup cooked chickpea, thoroughly rinsed if using canned
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, left intact they will preserve longer than sliced
- 1 cup shelled edamame beans
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, or other nuts as desired
- 1 cup fresh spring sprouts of choice such as alfalfa, mustard, clover, onion
For the Basil Vinaigrette
- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 heaping tsp sweet Dijon mustard
- Sea salt & coarse black pepper to taste
This particular recipe is set up for 2 x 500 ml (or 2 cup) jars. But you can choose any size jar for these salads depending on your needs and intended use.
By the way, these salad jars also make great party favours for showers, parties and even weddings. If properly packed, they can last for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Generally, the heavier ingredients should be placed on the bottom of the jar (such as your protein choice: poultry, fish, lentils, legumes, tofu, etc.) and the lighter items over top - vegetables, nuts, fruit, as desired. It's best to leave fragile greens for the very top.
The dressing sits at the bottom of the jar so all you have to do is pour the salad out onto a plate/bowl or simply turn the bottle upside down and shake gently with lid on if enjoying directly from the jar.
Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a container with fitted lid and shake well.
Place chickpeas in a bowl and pour basil vinaigrette over, mixing to combine.
After thoroughly washing two mason jars, place a 1/2 cup of the chickpea/vinaigrette mixture into each one, being sure to add all of the dressing which will be needed for the rest of the salad.
Layer a 1/2 portion of carrots followed by tomato, edamame and nuts. Finish with sprouted greens.
Seal jars and place in the fridge until ready to use or to offer as a gift.