It was their turn to host our book club dinner, so my mother-daughter friends Kathy and Jennifer, respectively, set a gorgeous table and served a beautiful and ingenious meal they made a day ahead of time. Featuring a Salad Nicoise, that lovely, cold, flaked tuna salad from Provence, dinner was sensibly assembled in a wide-mouthed quart mason jar.
Because each jar is separate, this is a meal that easily accommodates people with allergies. My jar is the one with the ribbon around it – nightshade free – so no tomatoes for me. Feel free to add your favorite ingredients. There are many recipes for Salad Nicoise – simply pick your favorite ingredients and add those. You could also use this technique for a classic Cobb, or any salad of your choosing.
Kathy and Jennifer placed a jar onto the center of the plate so that guests could simply remove the lid and upend onto their plate. The dressing perfectly coats the ingredients and you have a delicious, creative, no-hassle meal that your guests will not soon forget.
I haven’t listed quantities here as you can make this a salad for one, or for a dinner party. Be creative and have fun.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30–45 minutes
Special equipment: 32 ounce wide-mouth mason jars
blanched green beans (until just tender)
Nicoise or Kalmata olives
thinly sliced cucumber
hard boiled eggs (use hard boiling instructions only)
jarred tuna (or from a can)
- Up to a day ahead of serving, stack all ingredients into jars in the order listed above. Serve at your leisure. That’s it!