“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley
Even though I try to be the kind of person who views the glass as half full and presses my heart full of optimism, believe me when I say that I am giving winter the evil eye. Yes, I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Yes, I have lived here for most of my forty-two years. Yes, I acknowledge that the precipitation is vital to our water supply. Still, I find myself wistful for long hikes and the verdant green spikes of my spring flower gardens as nature awakens and tingles with life. I watch the birds puff up their feathers outside our windows and I eagerly anticipate long summer days filled with warmth and all of the possibility that we can gather in a few short months (alas, before the cold returns). I do not want to wish time away but I pray that March brings with it at least a hint of mild temperatures.
As I stated in my last post, I am behind in sharing my recipes. Therefore, I will get right to the point with my latest jarred salad recipe. When I went to the grocery store yesterday I wanted to let the produce selection partly inform my menu (the planner in me already had a list compiled) and a brief scan of the produce section determined that my salad would contain asparagus and strawberries (what speaks more of spring than both of those ingredients). The asparagus was thin and tender and the strawberries (though not as sweet as they could be) were red and promised a juicy and sweet accompaniment to spinach.
If you are familiar with my blog you know all about Mason jar salads. However, if you just found your way here I suggest you check out this post for some basic tips and advice on creating these versatile and lovely layered salads.
PINEAPPLE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple
- 1/4 cup of rice vinegar (or your choice of vinegar. I always recommend that you add a bit of vinegar at a time and taste the dressing as you go. I like my dressing on the tart side so I often add even more vinegar than my recipes call for)
- 1/8 cup of raw apple cider vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar has many health benefits and I really enjoy its tartness)
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (I leave the oil out of the dressing and add 2 teaspoons to each jar for portion control)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon of onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
If you do not add the full amount of vinegar you may want to add a little water to thin the dressing. I love the combination of the sweet pineapple with the savory onion and garlic and the tangy vinegar. This dressing is so good you may want to make extra (it would be fantastic sprinkled over steamed vegetables). The vinegar in the dressing will naturally preserve it and it will keep in the refrigerator for over a month. I like to store my dressings in one pint Mason jars.
SUMMON SPRING JARRED SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS AND STRAWBERRIES
I layered the following ingredients in five one quart Mason jar salads:
- 3 Tablespoons of Pineapple Vinaigrette (I also added 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil)
- Asparagus (I cut off one inch of the woody stem and cut it into three pieces. I blanched the asparagus by immersing it in boiling water for two minutes and directly dropping it into an ice-bath. This brings out the best of the nutrients but it still retains some of its crispness.)
- Strawberries cut in 1/2 (1 and 1/2 containers)
- 1/4 cup of raw almonds (add the protein of your choice. I use raw nuts or beans)
- Avocado (I used three avocados)
- Kiwi slices (I used three kiwi)
- Balsamic vinegar (I added a little under a Tablespoon of vinegar to the top of each salad. I love the combination of balsamic vinegar and strawberries but I did not want to muddle the color of the pineapple dressing for the photos.)
Pin this recipe HERE.
I am really looking forward to my lunches this week and I think that they will help put me in a spring state of mind. Maybe you will make a batch too and help me in giving winter the evil eye. Together we will thrive and have a productive week that is bursting with fruit and vegetables.