This article first appeared in House & Leisure Online and is entitled “3 Recipes for Waterless Cooking”. Here I’ve adapted my original post slightly in order to make it blog-relevant.

Inspired by the uncluttered take on Italian cuisine curated by the River Cafe in London, I developed this rather rustic Antipasti Salad with marinated tomatoes, pickled squid and fresh burrata cheese.

Closer to home, the Western Cape and specifically Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in a century. While we have all been showering surrounded by buckets and letting our gardens go dry, the kitchen is often a place where water is all too easily wasted. Made in and eaten from the same bowl, this salad maximises its water-saving effort by limiting the amount of dishes used, meaning less to wash up. Saving water doesn’t stop there – the time for choosing sustainable fare is now and your weekly recipe repertoire should mimic those ingredients. Tomatoes are the most water-conscious addition to your table, making for a water-wise choice whether you’re growing them or buying them. Should the former be an option, be sure to choose a mixture of larger and smaller varietals as this salad works brilliantly with a mixture of colours, sizes and shapes.

Antipasti Salad with Marinated Tomatoes

Prep time: 40 mins / Cook time: 0 / Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 4kg mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • The zest and juice of a large lemon
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Coarse ground salt and black pepper
  • A 280g bottle of artichoke pieces in oil
  • 500g of pickled octopus tentacles, (available in most good delis) roughly chopped
  • 300g bocconcini (mini mozzarella cheeses)
  • 1 to 2 large burrata cheeses
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh basil

Mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice and chopped oregano and season to taste. Slice about 90% of the tomatoes in half or into chunks, leaving the smaller ones whole. Pour the marinade into a large salad bowl and add in the tomatoes. Leave the tomatoes to sit in the marinade for 10 minutes, before giving a good stir and adding in the artichoke pieces, the pickled octopus, the fresh basil and the bocconcini. Nestle the burrata cheese on the top of the salad, scatter over a few more basil leaves and serve with some crusty bread and a chilled bottle of crisp white wine. I absolutely adore Springfield Estate’s Miss Lucy 2016 – a wonderfully refreshing blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Gris named after the endangered Red Stumpnose – (for more on my journey about promoting sustainable seafood, head over here) that pairs perfectly with the acidic tang of the pickled squid in the dish.

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

ANTIPASTI SALAD WITH MARINATED TOMATOES

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