A salad with blue cheese, dried cherries, pecans or walnuts, maybe some chicken, and raspberry vinaigrette. What is this type of salad called in your neck of the woods?
Here in Michigan, it’s widely referred to as “Traverse City salad,” after the city in the northern lower peninsula that is world famous for it’s cherries and annual cherry festival.
In other parts of the country, I think it’s mostly called a “Sonoma salad,” although I’m not sure of the origin of that name. Is this salad popular in Sonoma wine country?
To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what you call it, just as long as you make it and enjoy it. Here, instead of traditional mixed greens as the base of this salad, I went with pasta.
But to call it a “pasta salad” is kind of a misnomer, because it’s like 20% pasta, 80% good stuff like chicken, earthy and creamy Gorgonzola cheese, crunchy nuts and celery, and sweet dried fruit.
Just like jarcuterie, these Sonoma Chicken Pasta Salad Jars are portable, adorable and delicious, which is kind of the trifecta in my book.
For the Salad Jars:
6 ounces rotini or penne pasta
1/4 cup dried cherries
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup diced cooked chicken (about 1 small breast)
1/4 cup pecans
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
For the Raspberry-Poppyseed Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon poppyseeds
- Cook pasta according to package direction. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile, make the Raspberry-Poppyseed Vinaigrette: In food processor or blender, process raspberries, vinegar, honey, sugar, salt and pepper until smooth. Add oil; process until all oil is incorporated. Stir in poppyseeds.
- Divide Raspberry-Poppyseed Vinaigrette equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide pasta over dressing; layer remaining salad ingredients. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 4 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.
Want more salad jar ideas? Check out these other portable, fun lunch recipes!
Chopped Salad Jars with White Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette
Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars
Asian Noodle Salad Jars
Marinated White Bean Salad Jars