Very Berry Feta Mason Jar Salad
I have a lot of fun coming up with new Mason Jar Salads. If I can make myself put in the work on the weekend, I save myself so much time, money and calories during the week. A few months ago I was making the Spring Green Salad, but now we are in a new season and it is time for something fresh. The Very Berry Feta Mason Jar Salad uses the season’s best ingredients for a delicious, healthy, on the go lunch. Plus they are pretty.
The official start of summer is fast approaching, and for us at Really Into This Blog, that means one thing: strawberries. Sarah is a bonafide strawberry picker, and I am so jealous of her access to those Oregon Hood Strawberries. California is no slouch when it comes to growing strawberries either, and the grocery stores are full of the beautiful red fruit. They are the perfect ingredient to feature in your recipes all summer, and I love using them in savory dishes.
Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Please, I beg of you, do not buy dressing from the grocery store. I love making homemade salad dressing, and the best part is you can use whatever is around for inspiration. My go-to dressing is balsamic vinaigrette, and balsamic is so amazing with fruit – cherries, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries. I recently bought some special, delicious cherries for my Manhattan cocktail, and I thought the juice would be great with the balsamic. I was right. Use this recipe and sub a little of the cherry juice for the balsamic – a couple of tablespoons.
Putting Your Very Berry Feta Salad Together
The key to making the perfect Mason Jar Salad (other than remembering to use wide mouth jars) is the order of layers. Start with dressing, then add your hard, more durable fruits and veggies. Follow that with your softer fruits and veg, put any meat or cheese next, then your beans, grains, and nuts. The last ingredient is ALWAYS your greens. Sometimes I make an exception and put my cheese at the bottom, like in the Quinoa Caprese Mason Jar Salad, because I like it when it marinates in the dressing. The Very Berry Feta Mason Jar Salad is going the traditional route.
Once you put two to three tablespoons of dressing at the bottom of the jar, add sliced red onion. If the raw onion is too strong for you, soak the slices in cold water for about ten minutes and then drain. This takes away the harsh bite of the onion but retains the flavor and crunch.
After the onions come the berries. I started with blueberries, and I love using blueberries for three reasons: 1) You don’t have to chop, slice or dice them, 2) They are beautiful and healthy, 3) They are magical when paired with balsamic vinegar.
After the blueberries come the strawberries. I like to slice mine lengthwise because it keeps them more uniform in size.
Top the strawberries with cheese. Several different kinds of cheese will work beautifully here (goat cheese, mozzarella, blue) but I chose feta. This semi-hard cheese holds up well in the salads and has a super fresh taste. Feel free to buy it already crumbled to save time.
I know that it sounds a little bizarre, but edamame works incredibly well in this salad. When doing a vegetarian salad, you must find a way to add protein, and edamame is one of my favorite beans. Buy it already shelled, defrost, on the counter, and throw it in on top of your berries.
For some added crunch and protein, add some nuts. As much as I would like to throw in candied pecans, which are stars in many of my salads, almonds are a much healthier addition.
The salad is already looking so beautiful! With this variety of fruits, vegetables, and colors, you know you are getting a healthy mix of vitamins.
Last but not least, stuff your jars with your greens. Normally I use spring mix AND spinach, but I felt like the Very Berry Feta would be best with spinach alone.
Seal up your jars and you are finished! You have prepped your lunch for a whole week (Well, four days for me. I have to have a cheat day).
The Very Berry Feta Verdict
Celebrating summer’s produce has never been better! Not only is this salad beautiful to look at, healthy and tasty, it is a breeze to make. The only things I had to cut were the strawberries, onions, and feta – the rest is just layered right in. As with all of my Mason Jar Salads, feel free to make it your own. Using ingredients you love will ensure you keep eating your salads all week long. I hope you are as Really Into The Very Berry Feta Mason Jar Salad as I am.
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