Let’s just start there, okay?
Because THERE is a very good place to start. It involves:
- Sun dried peppers
- Feta cheese
- Grilled shrimp
- Curlycue greens
- And a bucket of lemon dill dressing.
That would be enough, wouldn’t it? (I just ate it for lunch and I can assure you that it is and was more than enough.)
I like it when things are a little more fun, a little more convenient, a little more real-life-able. Which is why this post is actually called Summer Salad Jars.
As in, let’s put this salad right on up in a jar.
Do you know what’s beautiful about this? The jar thing?
A) Jars. They look pretty in your fridge, and they SUPER CONVENIENT. It’s lunch in literally two shakes: shake the jar out, and toss it all up.
B) The tomatoes and the dressing sit in the bottom of the jar together and actually get BETTER and JUICIER and MORE FLAVOR LOADED the longer they sit in the fridge. The quinoa, too – it can handle that little bit of moisture from the dressing! Think of that lemony, garlicky, dill-punch of flavor just hanging out in there, giving your quinoa the royal treatment. How about a YES MA’AM on that one.
I haven’t been a huge supporter of jar salads in the past because I was skeptical that a lettuce salad, sitting a jar with a bunch of stuff for four days, would really be a good thing to eat.
But this is not a lettuce salad. That’s why I’m into it. It has the extra-delicious texture of a deli-style salad (you know, chicken salad, potato salad, that kind of thing) and all of its ingredients are sturdy enough to handle the weekly fridge sit.
And should you find yourself lacking for dinner, throw a few shrimp on the grill and pop em on top of your salad, with a few delicate curlycue greens in there for Instagram reasons.
Riiiight?! Are we not so hot with this right now?
Okay, easy meal prep. This week. Quinoa, veg, lemon dill dressing. Very healthy, very goals-y.
You got this! Please report back.
Lemon Dill Dressing
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- fresh lemon juice (to taste)
- a handful of fresh dill (to taste)
- a handful of fresh parsley (optional)
Summer Salad Jars
- 2 cups quinoa (or other pasta, quinoa, couscous, etc.)
- 2 pints of grape tomatoes
- 2 large cucumbers
- 1-2 small jars of sun dried tomatoes or peppers (I used DeLallo brand)
- 1 cup feta cheese
- Dressing: Blend all dressing ingredients together until smooth.
- Grains: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
- Build Your Beautiful Jars: In each jar, layer a little bit of dressing, tomatoes, quinoa, cucumbers, sun dried peppers, and feta. Store sealed jars in the fridge up to 4 days!
- Serve: When you’re ready to serve, empty the jar into a bowl. Stir to combine. Voila!
I love dill, and I never measure it exactly. For those who do want to measure, I would guess my “handful” is equal to a loose 1/4 cup! Same for the parsley.
This is also delicious made with whole wheat orzo or other cooked pasta!
I like to add some finishing touches, too – extra salt and pepper, more lemon juice, fresh greens, and maybe some sunflower seeds for crunch! Yummy!
You can totally add some cooked chickpeas, lentils, a piece of grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp added to the salad after it’s all mixed (as pictured). Personally I would wait to add the chicken/shrimp until just serving so the salad jars stay fresher for longer!