Champagne Tomato Basil Salad

A simple, fresh-and-tangy Gluten-Free side for picnics, BBQs and potlucks.

Sometimes it’s the simplest ingredients that make for the biggest flavors! I just shared this recipe with my Cooking Class yesterday at Whole Foods Market Encinitas. My audience was a vocal, enthusiastic group (thank you all!) including a few culinary trained chefs. As always this dish was an immediate favorite...

Reminiscent of traditional Caprese with a delicate hint of champagne vinegar this salad is a refreshing dish for potlucks, picnics and BBqs or a light and tangy side for meals.

Remember to take advantage of what’s local and in season in your area! Fresh-from-the-market heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or even a handful of lovely, colorful, heirloom beauties from the garden or the market will do the trick. Romas will add their own unique flavor! In a pinch I’ve added a pound of ground meat, canned tuna or shrimp for a quick and satisfying meal.

This recipe offers a perfect opportunity for age-appropriate cooking with kids – from selecting and washing ingredients to measuring and combining. Adult supervision is always recommended.

Where appropriate, I’ve listed a few of my favorite Brands together with the ingredients.



Gluten-Free Champagne Tomato Basil Salad


  • 10-12 oz Brown Rice Pasta (Tinkyada Fusilli)

  • 25 Cherry Tomatoes (approx. 1 lb), Sliced

  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil, Finely Chopped

  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

  • 10 oz Fresh Mozzarella (optional)

  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 2 Teaspoons Agave Nectar/Natural Sweetener

  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste


  1. Prepare pasta per directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Combine last 4 ingredients.

  3. Add Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic.

  4. Combine with Pasta.

  5. Just before serving, sprinkle with Mozzarella, if desired.

  6. It’s that simple! ENJOY!

Nutrition Info: (Serving Size 1 Cup, mozzarella not included)

Calories 260, Fat 5g, Sat Fat 1g, Sodium 15mg, Carb 48g, Fiber <1g, Sugars 1.5g, Protein 4.5g

*Nutrition Information is approximate and may change as a result of the specific brands of ingredients and type/cut of meat that you select.

** Always read labels thoroughly before purchasing/using as ingredients and sources can change!