A few years ago, a new trend arrived in Italy from the United States: the food jar. Thanks to convenience, practicality, and sustainability, it has become a real fashion in New York. The glass jar, in fact, is extremely ecological. In case you prepare the meal at home, you can easily wash it; in case of food delivery, you should return the jar; otherwise, you’ll lose the deposit.
There’s also the jar-cooking, which consists of placing the food inside tightly in sealed jars and cooking them in a bain-marie. Place the jars in a baking pan with water up to two-thirds the jars’ height and cook around ten jars in the oven. The result is similar to food baked in foil; it is healthy and very practical. The food content can be as varied as possible and can be stored or eaten directly from the jar, with all the practical implications.
Food Jar: practical, sustainable, and perfect on the go!
However, we are more interested in food jar in the real sense of the word. Inside the jar, you can serve in layers, many delicious recipes that you never thought of: spaghetti, pinzimonio, salads, yogurt with muesli, desserts, vegetables, and even eggplants with parmesan cheese.
You can take the food jar to the office for lunch (it’s cooler than the lunch box) or to the countryside for a picnic, as long as you follow some basic rules.
The choice of the jar is very important, and it depends on what you will put inside it. It is also essential to sterilize the jar; boil it in a pot of boiling water for about half an hour; wash it and leave it in the microwave for about a minute or wash it in a dishwasher at high temperature.
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The organization of ingredients in the food jar
A very important thing for the food jar is the arrangement of the various ingredients inside the jar so that they won’t get ruined. Lasagne, eggplant parmigiana, tiramisu, etc… The dishes of the Italian tradition are often presented in layers, placed in a way so as not to get mixed up during cooking or when served cold.
How to prepare a salad in a food jar version
To preserve the salad, you need a real method. You must always start from the bottom and go straight up.
- Pour the dressing onto the bottom of the jar as much as you desire.
- Then, put the thicker vegetables, which will absorb the dressing and will remain intact.
- In this layer, you can add legumes, cereals, pasta, rice, etc..
- The next step is to add cheeses and/or proteins, such as tuna, chicken, boiled eggs, etc.
- Next, you can insert isolated vegetables and fruits such as avocado, corn, chopped tomatoes, etc.
- It’s time for the greens. Well washed and thoroughly dried. Possibly chopped by hand, since blades of various types may darken them. To give a nice color effect, it is good practice to choose multiple types of leaves: radicchio, rocket, cabbage, etc…
- Finally, in the last level, add the dried fruit and seeds, the tasty and crunchy part of the salad.
If you want to keep the food jar longer in the refrigerator, avoid putting the dressing on the bottom. In this case, it is necessary to leave some space on top of the jar; so cut out a piece of baking paper at least one centimeter wider than the jar; push it slightly inside; pour the seasoning on it and lock it all by closing the jar with the lid. At mealtime, simply remove the piece of baking paper and pour the dressing into the food jar.
Not only salads in the food jar
The salads are perfect for the jar, but you can put inside the jar also some of the traditional dishes, the ones that you don’t need to keep the ingredients separate, such as pasta, soup, or pureed soup. In this case, simply heat the food jar for a few moments in a microwave or enjoy it at room temperature.
A couple of ideas for the food jar
You can also prepare dishes specifically designed for the food jar, keeping the same logic explained for salads. For inspiration, we chose two recipes from the book Food Jar… all in a jar by Ilaria Mazzotta, published in 2015 by Gribaudo.
Perfumed rice and shrimps
- 100 grams of jasmine basmati rice
- 50 g of cleaned shrimp tails
- 1/2 avocado
- lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of oil (to taste)
- Salt q.s.
- Chilli pepper powder or spices to taste
- Soya Vinaigrette
- Cook the rice using a 2 to 1 water rice ratio and add a pinch of salt.
- Clean the avocado and cut it into small pieces.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and put inside the cleaned shrimps. Sprinkle them with the lime juice and season with salt and a pinch of chili or spices to taste.
- Pour some vinaigrette on the bottom of the jar; then add rice, avocado, and lastly, shrimps— all of it according to the guidelines for preparing salads above.
Hulled wheat with pesto
- 200 g of Hulled wheat
- 80 g of fresh pesto
- cherry tomatoes q.s.
- 8 walnuts
- 50 g of ricotta cheese
- Lemon zest
- Boil the hulled wheat in salted water and, once drained, season it immediately with pesto.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes.
- Season the ricotta with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
- To prepare the jar, put the seasoned hulled wheat on the bottom, then put the cherry tomatoes, then the walnuts, and finally the seasoned ricotta. Finish with a couple of basil leaves to decorate it.