Purim is coming! One of the mitzvos (commandments) unique to the Jewish holiday of Purim is to deliver gifts of food, called Mishloach Manos, to friends and family. The parameters of this mitzvah require each Jewish adult to send a minimum of two ready-to-eat-foods to at least one person.
I like to send Mishloach Manos that are nutritious and can be served at the Purim seudah, the festive meal served on Purim day. One of my favorite ideas for Mishloach Manos are mason jar salads served with croutons. They are simple to prepare in advance, easy to package and are well-received by our recipients.
Mason Jars allow for preparing salad up to two days in advance and are really just an upside down salad. The dressing lays on the bottom of the jar and the salad is layered with the heaviest and wettest ingredients on bottom, working up to lighter ingredients with the salad greens at the top of the mason jar. It is important to keep the mason jar upright until ready to serve so that the delicate greens are protected from the dressing on the bottom.
Once ready to serve, simply shake the salad vigorously and decant into a bowl.
The croutons can me made from leftover bread or challah. It is a great way to use up leftover bread and challah that you have stored in the freezer. The mason jars themselves are useful to those receiving them and can be reused in a myriad of different ways.
The source for Mishloach Manos is read on Purim from the Purim Megillah, the scroll chronicling the story of Purim in Hebrew. After the Purim victory , Mordechai, the hero of the Purim narrative, ordered his fellow Jews ” to make the fourteenth day of the month of Adar… feasting and joy, and sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.”