Picnics are having a real moment at our house. Since we’ve been spending so much time at home, taking our lunch outside is a welcome change of scenery. It’s also usually a tasty excuse to think about how to make a weekday meal feel special. Now that the weather is feeling more summery, I’ve also been plotting some outdoor activities where a packed picnic is key. I made these simple mason jar salads that were built for backyard picnics and weekend adventure lunches — layered with antipasto ingredients, vinaigrette and Little Leaf Farms lettuce.The key to building a mason jar salad is layering your ingredients to prevent the mix getting soggy. I start by swirling a little bit of vinaigrette around the bottom of the jar (just a spoonful or two) and then adding a layer of my most sturdy ingredient – in this case I pressed in cherry and grape tomatoes. Next I added in a layer of the cubed mozzarella and chopped salami. You can get creative and adapt the ingredients here with whatever your flavor preferences are, liked cubed provolone for a mozzarella swap, or other charcuterie for a salami swap. Something spicier like a sopresseta would be a lovely, peppery punch in the salad! At this layer you could also add in ingredients like olives or sliced peppers. After the ingredients that are “high-soggy-risks” are added to the jar, I press in a layer of the al dente cooked and cooled tortellini. The pasta will act as a bit of a seal, absorbing any of the moisture released from the cheese or dressing. Once the tortellini barrier is in place, you could layer in herbs like basil and parsley before topping it with greens – my garden is just starting to produce lots of fresh green herbs so I tossed a bunch in. We eat so many containers of Little Leaf Farms greens, it’s a family favorite. For this version I used the Baby Red and Green Leaf mix that has a delicate and mild flavor with lots of crunch! I’m a huge fan of the company’s sustainable growing practices and the greens are just so fresh and tasty. Once you add in the last layer, just seal up the jars and keep them chilled and upright before you’re ready to eat! And when it’s picnic time, just give the jars a shake before you open them up. The dressing and juices from the ingredients marinating together will coat the salad for a tasty, warm-weather lunch. Scroll down for the full recipe:
- Your favorite vinaigrette dressing
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- Slices of salami, roughly chopped
- Cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled
- Fresh Parsley and Basil, finely sliced
- Little Leaf Farms Baby Red and Green Leaf Lettuce
- Drizzle vinaigrette at the bottom of the jar.
- Layer in a handful of tomatoes, cubed mozzarella, and chopped salami.
- Add tortellini on top and press down slightly to pack the jar tight.
- Top with chopped fresh herbs and Little Leaf Farms greens.
- Seal the jar; keep cold and upright until you’re ready to serve.
- Give the jars a shake to mix up the dressing and ingredients when you’re ready to eat.
Please note: This post was created in partnership with Little Leaf Farms. All opinions, images and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site.