I think layered salads in a jar are the prettiest dish to take on a picnic and one of my favorite’s is made with bibb lettuce, roasted beets, eggs, avocado, feta cheese, and pepitas.
On our anniversary this year, we decided the one thing we wanted to do was to pack the most delicious and beautiful picnic lunch we could create and the layered bibb salad was the focal point on the menu. After all, how often do you get to eat your salad out of a glass jar? That’s half the fun along with how everyone looks at you with envy and awe. If I didn’t want them to think I spend hours I might blow my cover and let them know that it really takes less time to make than a regular salad but, we will leave it at the envy and awe….that’s just how I decided to roll.
While we did have a few other goodies in the picnic basket and I could add them to this blog post, I decided just to focus on the salad in the jar. It is totally fun to pick whatever lettuce suits your taste buds and layer away with fresh or roasted veggies, proteins, eggs, dried fruit, nuts, and so on…. the more colorful, the more fun to eat and the more fun to eat, the more often you might venture into jarred salad creations!
Since I had made some yummo panini to go with our layered salad I figured something a little simpler would work best so I chose bibb lettuce, roasted beets, eggs, avocado, feta cheese, and pepitas. I did make a simple balsamic vinaigrette to accompany but if you wanted, you could grab a jar of your favorite dressing off the shelf of the grocery store and go that route; it’s great either way.
When the food was prepped, we packed it up in the car and headed off to a special place called Tent Rocks. Tent Rocks is located in northern New Mexico and about 45 minutes from our house (I am a bit embarrassed to admit I had never wandered there in the 44 years I have lived here but we wont harp on that one). The point is that it was SIMPLY AMAZING and after an incredible hike through these lava rock formations, we sat down for our pretty (and delicious) picnic; both of these things I thoroughly believe made it taste that much better.
As we made our way through the array of panini, chips, and layered salad, we were lucky to have a visitor join us for some treats…..it was awesome to have our little buddy stuff his cheeks with our salty chips and scurry away to bury them for later and return for another load. This alone made our day and united us with a little more than our picnic lunch under the pinon tree.
- 1 Head of Bibb Lettuce or 1 Bag of Bibb Lettuce, torn into pieces
- 4 Fresh Golden Beets
- 2-3 Hardboiled Eggs, sliced in a cutter
- 1 Large Avocado, diced
- Fresh Feta Cheese
- Roasted, Unsalted Pepita Seeds
- 2 large glass Weck jars
- Balsamic Dressing, preferably homemade
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ shallot, diced
- ¼ cup balsamic
- 2-3 T dijon mustard
- ⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- To Make Beets:
- Heat oven to 400. Wrap loose beets tightly in foil and place in oven. Cook for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a fork. Take out, cool, peel, and diced or chunk into desired size. (This can be done day before)
- To Make Dressing:
- In a blender or food processor, put in garlic, shallot, balsamic, dijon, and a little salt and pepper. Pulse until blended. Put blender or processor on low and add oil slowly to emulsify. Season more to taste
- To assemble salad:
- In the bottom of the Weck jars, add a little salad, then begin layering with beets, egg, and avocado, repeat until almost at top and finish with feta cheese and pepitas.
- Pack or eat immediately with desired amount of dressing!