Layered Mason Jar Niçoise Salad is perfect for a hearty and delicious office lunch. Or make several for a fun lunch in the park.
I don’t remember ever having layered salads growing up. Maybe we did and I just don’t remember it. There’s a lot I don’t remember about my childhood. I have no idea why, I just don’t. It’s not because of some kind of trauma. At least I don’t think it is.
What is a layered salad?
It does seem sort of obvious, but I thought I would answer the question anyway. It is a salad that is in layers and not tossed. I guess it was made that way to show off the ingredients or make for a pretty table presence. Or buffet presence if someone brought it to a potluck.
It’s tough to find the history of the layered salad. I mean, there’s the chef salad that is sort of layered and the Niçoise salad. Then there’s a Russian selyodka pod shuboy which is completely not like the seven-layer salad at all. It has fish in it.
But when you talk about a layered salad, most will think of the seven-layer salad that is popular in the south. I haven’t found any certain history for this salad. It just sort of shows up in history. But it has stuck around for decades so there must be something good about it.
The traditional seven-layer salad has lettuce on the bottom. Then there’s tomatoes, peas, hard boiled eggs, bacon, mayonnaise (sometimes sprinkled with sugar), and cheddar cheese on top. Of course, there are variations to this salad, but I think this is the traditional recipe.
What is salad niçoise?
Salad Niçoise originated in Nice. The traditional salad has tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and either anchovies or tuna all dressed with plain olive oil. Yes, I know. I didn’t say green beans and potatoes. However, this version is the most popular version.
Of course, you can add any regionally available vegetables you have. Some versions include peppers, shallots, and artichoke hearts. Some people include freshly harvested spring green beans, but most don’t have those readily available, which is why I think the cooked green beans wound up on there.
This salad can have either anchovies (ew), fresh seared tuna, or canned tuna. I have made it with seared and canned tuna. I think I prefer the canned tuna myself. For this salad, I used Tonnino tuna in olive oil with a hint of lemon. I would definitely recommend canned tuna packed in oil for this salad. It adds a richness to this salad I cannot explain. Just try it once and see how you like it.
The history of Salad Niçoise seems rather sordid. And everyone has a perfectly good opinion of what should be in there. But I think it was the recipe that landed in the Mastering the Art of French Cooking that really solidified the salad in the United States.
She demonstrated this recipe of potato salad combined with green beans, tuna and anchovies in a vinaigrette dressing. From there, I think the green beans and potatoes have always been part of this salad recipe.
What is in a Layered Mason Jar Niçoise Salad?
I fashioned my salad after the somewhat more US version of the salad that includes the green beans and potatoes. I put the green beans and dressing on the bottom. I really like the green beans to get a little marinated as it sits in the fridge. Then the potatoes because they also absorb the delicious dressing. Next, I added red onions which are not traditionally part of the salad, but I always like the bite they add.
I put the more delicate items towards the top like the tomatoes. I halved some grape tomatoes and put those on top of the onions. The chopped kalamata olives are on top of the tomatoes. I honestly do not know what Niçoise olives are. I really should look for those. The tuna goes on top of the olives and the eggs are on top of everything.
How do you eat Layered Mason Jar Niçoise Salad?
If you’re at work, you can easily dig into it with your fork. But if you’re more adventurous, and have the ability, you could carefully shake the salad to distribute the dressing evenly. Then you can pour the salad onto a plate. It all fit on my 8” salad plate. Don’t forget some crusty bread to clean up that dressing.
I cheated with the dressing. I took a bottle balsamic dressing and added some Dijon mustard to it. Don’t make that face. I am not the best with making dressings. It is what it is. They just do not come out the way I hope. The few that are on my blog have come out exactly the way I wanted them to. Otherwise, I use bottled because fail.
This Layered Mason Jar Niçoise Salad is a hearty salad. I mean, you’re not going to be hungry for a while after eating it. So, it is perfect for a work lunch. And with them being layered in jars, they’re also perfect for a picnic or other fun outdoor gathering. They are easy to whip up in batches for larger gatherings, too.
You will definitely look forward to lunch at work if you had this in your bag. I know I was excited for lunch! And one of my coworkers commented on the post when I shared it, too. She was going to making a few for lunch at work. Which is always a sign that it’s a winning recipe.
- 1/2 cup mustard vinaigrette
- 2 cups blanched haricot vert or green beans
- 2 cups boiled baby potatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
- 4 ounces whole tuna in olive oil (I used Tonninos in olive oil with lemon)
- 2 hard boiled eggs sliced in half
- Pour half the dressing into each of the jars.
- Place 1 cup green beans in the bottom of each jar.
- Put 1 cup of sliced potatoes on top of the green beans.
- Sprinkle half the red onions into each jar.
- Add 1 cup of tomatoes to each jar along with 1/4 cup of chopped Kalamata olives.
- Top the olives with the tune filets trying to not to break them up.
- Place a sliced egg on top fasten the lid.
- Refrigerate until serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 731Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 213mgSodium 1361mgCarbohydrates 82gFiber 16gSugar 30gProtein 34g
Layering Up Salads
- Chicken Cobb Salad Tower from The Spiffy Cookie
- Layered Garbanzo Beans and Paneer Salad from Magical Ingredients
- Layered Mason Jar Niçoise Salad from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Overnight 7 Layer Salad from Leftovers Then Breakfast
- Seven Layer Fruit Salad from Art of Natural Living
- Southwest 7 Layer Salad from The Freshman Cook
- The Ultimate Layered Salad from Karen’s Kitchen Stories