Our zesty Make-Ahead Fennel and Grapefruit Mason Jar Salad with Gluten-free Croutons is a perfect recipe for beginning of the week lunch prep. Why? Because creating salads for the week without ingredients going soggy is an art. And this salad recipe combines sturdy ingredients, make-ahead elements, and a layering technique that ensures your salad tastes as great on Friday as it did on Monday. The trick? Dressing first, then hard veggies. Next, soft veggies and fruit, then sturdy greens. Add nuts and seeds last. Seal and store in the fridge until it’s lunchtime (or munch-time!), and keep the croutons on the side until the very end.
A hint of anise from fennel adds an exquisite taste to leafy greens and zesty citrus in this stunning salad. Toss in crunchy, nutty croutons made-ahead with Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds & Grains Loaf for a full-flavoured, full-textured experience. They’re a scrumptious gluten-free finish to a portable jarful of goodness.
For the Salad:
- Using a sharp knife, supreme grapefruit by removing the rind and pith (the white underpart of the peel). Avoid removing the flesh of the fruit. Set grapefruit on its side and cut segments along the membranes. Once your segments are cut, squeeze the leftover membranes over a bowl and reserve the juice.
- Peel orange and segment
- Prepare the fennel by cutting the bulb in half. Make a wedge-shaped cut to remove the tough core at the bottom. Discard core. Place the bulb cut side down and thinly slice. Set aside fronds for garnish.
- Thoroughly wash baby spinach and dry in a salad spinner
For the Croutons:
- Pre-heat oven to 350℉
- Cut 8 slices of Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds & Grains Loaf into ¾” pieces. Toss with melted buttery spread and selected seasonings.
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until nicely toasted, approximately 12 minutes. Flip croutons at the halfway mark.
- Cool before using or storing
For the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and grapefruit juice
- In a mason jar or portable bowl with silicon lid, pour dressing in first. Next, layer ingredients in this order: fennel, citrus segments, spinach, fennel fronds. Secure lid and store in fridge. Don’t pack the ingredients too tightly; save some space so that you can shake the jar to mix the ingredients later.
When ready to eat, turn unopened container upside down so the dressing can spread. Give the container an extra shake before opening to ensure all ingredients are coated in the dressing. Top with croutons and enjoy straight from the jar!
Recipe fills approximately 3 16oz mason jars.
Prepare croutons in advance and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Use the entire loaf to make extra croutons for salads or snacking.
We recommend keeping the croutons in a separate container until serving to preserve that crispy crunch!
What eco-friendly containers do you use to pack weekday lunches?