Tag Archives: tomato

Gluten-Free Salads

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette


Basil. Basil. Basil.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasil! Just a small whiff of this delightful herb makes me so darn happy. Doesn’t it just remind you of summer? If I could, I would probably put fresh basil on everything. Yes, even in sweet treats! Have you ever had strawberry-basil ice cream? It is INCREDIBLE.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette Recipe

I purchased a large bunch of fresh basil at Whole Foods this weekend with the intention of using it in a summer pasta dish this week. Luckily, I had so much extra so I was able to experiment a bit with a basil vinaigrette. We eat a lot of salads in our house, so we like to change up the dressings fairly regularly to prevent eating the same thing all the time.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette Recipe

I’ve always loved the combination of tomato + basil + mozzarella + balsamic, so I knew those flavors would make a delicious vinaigrette (minus the mozzarella, of course….that would be weird). I never thought to put tomatoes in a vinaigrette before, but we had a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes sitting on our counter, so I thought, “Why not?” and just went for it.

The result? A serious winner!

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette Recipe

This dressing is slightly chunky, so you end up with delicious tastes of basil and tomato in every bite. I served it with a simple salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, and feta, but I think it would taste great with almost anything you can throw together!


Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons shallot, minced
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a mini food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes, basil, shallot, garlic, dijon, balsamic, and honey. Blend for about 30 seconds. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender half way through and continue blending. Add the olive oil and blend for about 10 more seconds or until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Recipe Roundup: No-Cook Summer Recipes

With summer right around the corner, I thought I would do a recipe roundup of some delicious summer foods that do not require the oven or stove. Using either during the hot summer months can be brutal, so I try to avoid it at all costs. Below are some of my favorite no-cook summer recipes. Click the links to be directed to the original posts with the recipes. Enjoy!



Overnight Oats

Oats are soaked overnight in the fridge in a mixture of Greek yogurt, almond milk, and chia seeds. In the morning they are ready to eat – cold!


Lunch and Dinner:

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

This no-cook salad is one of my favorites. There is so much flavor from fresh heirloom tomatoes and creamy burrata.


Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro, Garlic, and Garam Masala

Okay, I am breaking my rule a little bit for this one because you technically have to cook these kebabs, but with a grill – not your stove. The longer they marinate, the better they get!


Appetizers and Side Dishes:

Muhammara: Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I’ve made this dip four times since I posted the original recipe. It is incredible with warm pita bread. We devour it in our house!


Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts

This side dish can be served straight from the fridge or at room temperature. It is a great dish to make ahead of time because the longer it sits, the more flavorful it becomes.



Healthy “Brownie Bites”

These are little bites of heaven and they require no baking! You will be shocked when you find out how few ingredients you need to make them. Bonus tip: they are gluten-free!


Appetizer Salads Side Dishes Vegetarian Meals

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

Is it me or is burrata everywhere right now? Whenever we go out to eat it seems to pop up on the menu.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Not that I am complaining! I adore this creamy cheese. It seems to pair well with just about anything!

My favorite burrata salad to date was at Rustic Canyon, a restaurant in Santa Monica we tried last weekend. The textures were on point, the flavors blended together perfectly, and it wasn’t overly dressed (a crucial one for me).

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Because I just can’t get enough of this cheese, I set out to recreate a similar dish at home. Many people recommend using stale bread for Panzanella salads. I personally don’t understand that because you’re going to toast the bread anyway, so I used two fresh multi-grain rolls from Whole Foods and the result was delicious. I recommend a good crusty bread here  like ciabbata or french bread.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There are few ingredients in this salad, so the key is to make sure the ones you do use are good quality and flavorful. I used a delicious farmer’s market heirloom tomato and a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic vinegar my brother and sister-in-law bought for me in Napa Valley.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This burrata panzanella salad is a perfect appetizer or side dish for spring and summer. (Can you believe it is the middle of March already?)

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I sat at the table, each with a fork in our hand, and dug right in. I particularly  loved the bites of bread soaked in yummy balsamic, but that is probably because I am a carboholic…


Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-3
  • 2-3 cups Baguette or other crusty bread (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4oz Burrata
  • 2oz Baby Arugula (about 3 large handfuls)
  • 1 large Heirloom Tomato (chopped into 1 inch pieces)
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Set oven to broil on High. Lay the bread cubes on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Broil for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Place the burrata ball at the bottom of a medium bowl. Arrange the arugula, tomato, and bread cubes around the burrata. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a pinch of both the salt and pepper. Drizzle the balsamic mixture over the burrata salad. Mix together gently to coat. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.