Mason Jar Salads with Pesto Dressing

Mason Jar Salads with Pesto Dressing

When I’m low on inspiration, or just need to press ‘refresh’ on my creativity, I browse some favourite foodie sites of the world. It was during one such net-surfing session that mason jar* salads caught my eye because, let’s face it, they’re just so darn photogenic. I learned how ingeniously they’re put together, such that you can make a few salads in advance to take to work, complete with drop-dead-delicious dressings. And they won’t be the least bit soggy or tired-looking when it comes to enjoying them at the office or on a picnic with family and friends.


Michael Olivier feels that the PF Blanc de Noir from Peter Falke wines would partner perfectly with all three of our salads and their adventurous dressings.

*Both Pick n Pay and Checkers had a great selection of mason jars if you need to stock up.

Keep an eye on our social media pages for details of our next cool competition: #pimpmysummer!
HRH Kathleen

Mason Jar Salads 101
1. The Big Secret is the order in which you fill the jar.
2. The dressing must go in first. *royal decree*
3. Chunky items, grains or protein go in next.
4. Trimmings that should not get wet, like croutons, cheese or nuts, can rest on the chunky items.
5. Lastly add the greens. The moment of genius is when you turn your salad out into a bowl, and the crisp greens make a succulent bed for everything else to lie on.

Rosmarino Pasta Salad
1. Whip up a dressing with 1 tbsp Pesto Princess Greek Pesto and 1 tbsp olive oil, and pour into the bottom of the jar.
2. Halve some ripe baby tomatoes and put them in next. They’ll be ok sitting in the dressing for a while.
3. Add a layer of cooked and cooled rosmarino pasta, or any other small pasta shape that you have in your cupboard, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Halve some bocconcini and place them on top. These spongy ‘little mouthfuls’ of mozzarella are great at absorbing other flavours, so you can look forward to the moment when they meet the pesto dressing 😉
5. Fill up with washed baby spinach, close the lid and refrigerate until needed.

Cobb Salad
1. Make a tangy dressing by mixing together a tbsp of each of the following: Pesto Princess Chermoula Paste, olive oil, mayonnaise and crème fraiche. Pour into a mason jar, making full use of your inner perfectionist to keep the sides clean 😉
2. Make some zucchini noodles with a spiralizer if you have one, or shave paper-thin slices of zucchini on the straight blade of a grater instead. Drop those into the dressing to soak up some of the spicy flavours.
3. Add some pieces of roast chicken, deboned and broken into bite-sized chunks.
4. For colour and crunch add corn kernels sliced from the cob, once it has cooled.
5. Fill the remaining space with a variety of mixed salad leaves.

Caesar Salad
1. The secret to this one is Sam Linsell’s special Caesar dressing, spiked with pesto.
Blitz these items in a blender:
 110ml Greek yoghurt
 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
 6 anchovies
 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
 2 tbsp Pesto Princess Basil Pesto
 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
 40g Parmesan cheese, grated
 3 tbsp olive oil
 Pepper to taste
*If you don’t have a blender, perhaps it’s an idea to mash the anchovies to a paste beforehand, so that they ‘melt’ into the mixture. This recipe makes quite a big batch, so just use what you need, and store the rest in the fridge.
2. Crisp some fatty bacon up in a pan, and break into morsels, reserving the fat.
3. Fry some squares of bread in the bacon fat to make crunchy croutons, supplementing with some olive oil if the pan gets too dry.
3. Boil some eggs. Cool, peel and quarter.
4. Wash a Cos lettuce and break into chunks.
5. Layer the ingredients beginning with the eggs, keeping the croutons and the lettuce away from the dressing so that they stay crisp until you’re ready to have lunch.

Michael Olivier’s Choice

PF Blanc de Noir

The Peter Falke PF Blanc de Noir is versatile enough to make any or all of these mason jar salads extremely happy.

It looks like: Pretty pink wine in a clear bottle. Silver foiling on the pink label adds a touch of glam. In the glass it’s an inviting strawberry spun sugar colour.
It smells like: Red berry fruits with a touch of pomegranate.
It tastes like: Fresh and crisp with a juice making acidity. Full flavoured, creamy textured with a long strawberry infused aftertaste.

Recipe, styling & photography – Sam Linsell
Art direction & design – Roxanne Spears of Good Design


5 thoughts on “Mason Jar Salads with Pesto Dressing

  1. Riekie Barrett says:

    I love your pestos but am building up a supply of the pretty embossed small glass bottles which I was wondering if I could possibly return to you so you can use them again. Some recipes call for large quantities of pestos and I would ideally like to buy bigger quantities in a tub. Where can I get that ?

    • Pesto Princess says:

      Hi there, Princess Riekie 🙂

      Why thank you! For being a very supportive Loyal Royal, and for your thoughtfulness, too. Gosh, keeping all those jars must be taking up quite a bit of room in your cupboard. Sadly, we’re unable to accept jar returns as it compromises the guarantee on the glass safety, (although we most certainly would if we could). Perhaps there’s a way for you to reuse them; gifts of homemade preserves, or buttons/ crafts/ hardware sorters? 😉 We once made a candelabra out of an old bicycle wheel and some glittery-painted branches, and tied our jars on with ribbon. Thinking about it, the idea could easily be turned into a Christmas tree. Hmmm…

      As for bulk pesto availability; are you based in the Western Cape? *holding thumbs* Because Freezerland has recently started stocking our King Sized (500g) tubs. Please do let us know if you are able to get your hands on some, or drop us an email with your dilemma so we can find a way to help you. Princess Natasha awaits on the other side of orders[@]pesto[.]co[.]za.

      With basil-scented love from the palace…

      • Riekie Barrett says:

        Thanks so much for getting back to me. I will take note of all your comments.
        Wishing you a Joyful and Blessed Christmas.
        Cheers for now
        Riekie Barrett

    • Pesto Princess says:

      Oh, dear! You poor thing! Thank you, Princess Erika, for taking the time to reach out to the palace Pesto Lifeline… 😉

      We are available in two places in Gauteng. We do hope this helps your plight…
      – Find our large, freezer-friendly tubs at La Marina Foods in Edenvale (an Aladdin’s Cave of foodie delights)
      – Get your hands on our jars at Pick n Pay On Nicol. Give them a call to check on their stock levels before you pop in. And do let us know if you come right.

      We’re always happy to hear from our Loyal Royals, Dear Princess. Please give us a call on 021 709 0915, or drop us an email on, with ANY fresh-sauce related questions. 🙂

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