Summer in a Jar

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For veggie lovers, late summer is the best season. Summer produce is at its peak right now,  and gardens are overflowing with sun-warmed veggies. But even if you don’t have a plot of land to till, you can still get your hands on some great produce. Take a drive in the country and stop at a farm stand. Head to the farmers market. Or just go to the grocery store—their produce is always cheaper and tastier when the season’s at its peak.

How to take advantage of all that the season offers and make yourself the envy of your social media followers at the same time? Slice up some of the season’s best veggies, add some other ingredients, and layer in a jar for the prettiest lunch in the office.

The best part of these salads is that you can make them in the morning or even the night before. The veggies here are firmer than tender lettuces and stand up well, and letting them marinate in the dressings enhances their flavors.

All recipes by Miriam Wolf

Cukes ‘n’ Feta

INGREDIENTS
1 small cucumber (preferably English, Persian, or homegrown), thinly sliced
¼ cup feta, cubed
5–6 kalamata olives, pitted
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  • Layer cucumber, feta, onions (if using), and olives in your jar.
  • Combine olive oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetables.

Serves 1. Prep time, 10 minutes.

 

Insalata Caprese
Simplicity and good ingredients are the key to this salad. Vinegar or lemon juice is not recommended, as the acid will break down the tomatoes and cheese.

INGREDIENTS
6–8 cherry tomatoes cut in half or 1 medium tomato, sliced ¼-inch thick*
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
8–10 leaves of fresh basil
2 teaspoons fruity olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  • Layer slices of tomato and mozzarella in your jar, placing basil leaves between each layer.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top. Add salt and pepper when ready to eat.

Serves 1. Prep time, 10 minutes.

Cook’s note: Homegrown or heirloom tomatoes usually have amazing flavor. Get the best you can, or grow your own!
 

Roasted Carrots and Avocado
Prepare a big batch of roasted carrots in the evening to have some for dinner and some for this lunch salad.

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3–4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
½ medium avocado or 1 whole small avocado, cut into chunks
Juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios or nut of your choice

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Toss carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast on a sheet pan for 15–20 minutes until carrots are tender and browned. Let cool.
  • Layer carrots and avocado in jar. Combine remaining olive oil and citrus juices. Add cumin and salt to taste. Pour over the vegetables. (Depending on the juiciness of your orange, you may want to hold back some dressing.) When ready to serve, sprinkle with pistachios or other chopped nuts.

Serves 2. Prep time, 5 minutes; cook time, 20 minutes.

Miriam Wolf is a wellness professional and the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine newsletter.

 

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