As we prepare to launch "52 Weeks of Mason Jar Salads," I thought I would take a moment and mention a few helpful tools and gadgets you may want to have around for streamlined mason jar salad prep and storage!
I would say the most important prep tool (and skill) you will need at your disposal is a good, sharp knife and knowledge of how to use it. There are so many opinions on which knife is the "best" knife, and honestly, I don't think there is a "right" answer to that question. Knives are as unique as the cooks who use them, and my best advice is to use a knife you like chopping with. :) Simple as that! If you don't have knives you like chopping with, or feel like you are ready for an upgrade, I would encourage you to pay a visit to your friendly neighborhood kitchen store and take different types and brands for a "test drive." The best way to decide whether you like a knife is to chop up some veggies!
Regarding knife skills ... there are lots of ways to chop an onion, a carrot, a bunch of kale. Some are more efficient than others, and if you are interested in learning some basic techniques, there are a myriad of YouTube videos out there to check out. Otherwise, you could sign up for a knife skills class at your friendly neighborhood kitchen store - another great resource to learn how to safely and efficiently chop veggies for your salads!
Here are a few other prep tools I reach for again and again when prepping our weekly salads:
I use our salad spinner on a near-weekly basis for washing and drying our salad greens. Salad spinners also do a great job of drying softer items such as canned beans, berries, or olives. I'd encourage you to invest in a salad spinner if you don't already own one!
I luuuuuuuuurrrrve my stick blender. It is the most awesome tool for so many things, including whipping up quick and simple homemade sauces and salad dressings! (And the best part ... you don't even have to pre-chop ingredients such as garlic, fresh herbs, or shallots for your vinaigrettes!) The stick blender allows me to emulsify the creamiest vinaigrettes and puree the smoothest sauces, while being quick and simple to clean up.
I would guess the average home cook probably does not have a canning funnel laying around, but they are inexpensive and handy little buggers for packing mason jar salads. I reach for the canning funnel most often when adding beans or grains to my salads. Less mess!
Mason jar salad storage is relatively simple - you don't need much beyond a quart-sized container, and maybe one or two other small gadgets in order to pack an awesome lunch to go!
2 OZ JAR
SNACK-SIZE ZIP-TOP BAG
See you tomorrow for week 1 of "52 Weeks of Mason Jar Salads!"
Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.