I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

December 12, 2014

Festive Feastings with a Christmas Caprese Salad

Doesn't it get hectic this time of year?

Work parties, School functions, Carol Nights and just general End-of-Year-CatchUps. It all means one thing....not enough time!

It's also the time of year for Bring-a-Plate functions as well, and when you're already running short on time you need something that's quick, tasty, easy and still Christmassy all at once

This is where my Christmas Caprese Salad comes in. It can be made in minutes- straight from supermarket packets if needed, but still manages to look lovely and festive. It's great as a stand alone salad, or makes a yummy side dish for a BBQ on our hot Summer nights,  or is light enough to go with a more substantial main dish for our Winter bound friends up North as well

Traditionally of course, Caprese salad is made up of just tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. I've boosted up my Christmas wreath version a little to include baby spinach and baby rocket to make it more substantial and give lots of body to the wreath itself, and using the cute little balls of mozzarella and tiny tomatoes adds the bling of edible baubles to make it extra pretty

Christmas Caprese Salad

1 bag pre-washed baby Spinach Leaves
1 bag pre-washed baby Rocket Leaves
1 punnet red Cherry Tomatoes
1 punnet orange/yellow Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1 tub baby Bocconcini Cheese- drained
1 bunch of Basil - reserve the nice top tip from a couple of stems
1/4 cup Olive Oil- extra virgin or basil infused is perfect
a few good splashes of Balsamic Vinegar
big pinch of Salt

Start by picking the basil leaves from the stems. I like to rip the larger ones into smaller pieces just to help distribute the flavour easily

Toss the rocket, spinach and basil leaves really well to mix together

Then arrange in a nice, fluffy wreath pattern on a platter

Arrange the tomatoes and bocconcini in and on the greens so they look like pretty little Christmas Baubles, then add the tip of a basil stem to make a bow for a focal point

Simply mix together the salt, vinegar and oil for a simple dressing, and serve in a little jug on the side. If you drizzle it over the whole salad it will stain it and spoil the pretty colour effect

That's it! Simple, pretty, seasonal and- most importantly- delicious as well. Perfect for last minute or busy Christmas entertaining

So Dear Readers, do you have many functions to go to before Christmas, and what's your favourite Bring-a-plate salad?



  1. Bec, this is just gorgeous... festive and cheery!

  2. Healthy and easy, win win for this time of year

  3. so pretty and simple - love it :)

  4. That's such a pretty salad and perfect for a table filled with food.

  5. I love how you presented this, Rebecca; it's so festive and pretty and the colours are gorgeous. Last week I had dinner in an Italian restaurant where I ordered the caprese salad. Normally the food at this restaurant is pretty good but I had the most boring and uninteresting salad - sure wish I could have had yours! And yes, it's so hectic at this time of year xx

  6. This is so pretty and festive. Anyone would be happy when you turned up with this dish. I usually make a pasta carbonara, good at room temperature and always welcome D:

  7. Bec, I'm sharing a link to this in my favourites round up this week. Lovely to catch up last night xo

  8. Oh I swear I left a comment on this but I used my phone. It must not have come through. I was so excited to see this because I now have my salad side for Christmas dinner-thank you Rebecca! :D

  9. Oh, that looks gorgeous! I usually make a version of caprese salad for the Xmas table because the colours are so appropriate (I usually add a drizzle of basil pesto to mine) but have never thought of making it in a wreath shape - clever you!

  10. Hi Bec. Merry Christmas to you all. Hope that everything went well and you have had a great Christmas. I thought I had commented on this post but see that I haven't. This salad looks as cute as a button. Pure flavours and colours . x