Taking off on social media is ‘Jarcuterie’, a jar version of the charcuterie board. The idea is gaining popularity, particularly in the current climate, as the ‘dish’ is quick to assemble & can be enjoyed when visiting loved ones for a socially distant, garden catch-up.
Traditionally, each portion is filled with cured meats, cheeses, olives and fruit – but there’s room for improvisation. Below, Jamie Robinson, exec chef at Tesco shares his tips on making your own perfect Jarcuterie creation…
Tip #1: Build layers of flavour
Look at what ingredients you use in your base and make sure you complement them correctly. So if I was to use some lovely sweet, bitter fire roasted peppers I would add some torn mozzarella to give a rich fatty element and then fish with fresh torn basil and lemon zest for a fragrant yet peppery zing. It’s all about keeping the right balance. Click here to see a great summer salad recipe idea!
Tip #2 Mix up sweet and savoury
A classic for me is a Waldorf salad: sweet poached pears with crunchy fresh celery and rich salty blue cheese chunks, all tied together with super sweet candied walnuts. The sweetness from the nuts pulls the whole dish together and leaves you wanting more.
Tip #3 Make sure ingredients last until the picnic
The last thing you want is to go for a lovely walk or car journey, settle down for a bite to eat and see what was a beautifully layered jar now mashed up! To tackle this, I like to press my larger, more solid food items like potato or pulled meat into the bottom of the jar, then load the salad and any lighter ingredients at the top. Make sure the jar is not too big and is reasonably full, as this will help stop ingredients mixing in transit.
Tip #4 Have fun with the ingredients
I love trying out new combinations. This Roast Beef Salad Jar is a robust, travel safe and super tasty treat. It is my winner and an absolute go to: simply add diced salt to boiled new potatoes, dressed in zingy wholegrain mustard Mayo. Drop this mix into the bottom of the jar. Top this with fresh spinach and lightly pickled shallot rings. To finish add dill, parsley and some bagel croutons. This is my ultimate take on a Salt beef bagel! Click here to see the full recipe for the Roast Beef Jar!
Tip #5 Use up leftovers
Many of us have leftovers at this time of the year – instead of letting them go to waste, why not use them up in a healthy salad jar! Use the recipe below as a starting point, and substitute in whatever ingredients you’ve got in the fridge…
Serves 4. 20 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to cook.
- Salad potatoes 500g, halved (if large)
- Red onions 2, sliced into eighths
- Olive oil 1 tbsp
- Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
- Large handful of basil leaves
- Capers 2 tbsp, rinsed and drained
- Chicken ½ , roasted, roughly shredded, bones discarded
For the dressing
- Half-fat crème fraîche 2 tbsp
- Extra-virgin olive oil 5 tbsp
- Dijon mustard 1 tsp
- Honey ½ tsp
- Lemon juice 2 tbsp
- Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C.
- Cover the potatoes with cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer for 18 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, coat the onion wedges with the olive oil, spread them out on a baking tray and season. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until soft.
- To make the dressing, put the crème fraîche, olive oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice and 1 tbsp each of the parsley and basil for the salad into a blender. Add 2 tbsp water, season, then blitz to make a thick vinaigrette. Pour into a jar and screw the lid on tightly. Keep chilled.
- Assemble each portion of salad in a jar or tub, starting with a layer of potatoes. Top with a layer each of roasted red onions, capers, chicken, parsley and basil. Seal with a lid and chill for up to 24 hours or until needed.
- Pour over the dressing just before serving.