In Portugal, we enjoy sitting around a dinner table. We like to be eating and conversing around a big table full of friends and family, with a variety of dishes, sweets and wines. It’s not unusual for us to sit down at the table at lunchtime and still be there at 6 o’clock in the afternoon. We lunch, we snack and we have dinner in one extended sitting, with lots of conversation, laughter and perhaps even music and card games in between. That’s just who we are – we see every event as an occasion to gather around the table. Anything can be an excuse for a dinner, a lunch or an afternoon tea. All we need is someone to show up at our home and we start right away to set the table with whatever we have at the time. In addition to the pleasure of cooking, we love to have people around to celebrate and share with, and sometimes we need little more than bread and wine. So, allow me to share with you some simple recipes using bread as a basis. These are starters featuring typical Portuguese flavours that will taste even better if accompanied by a good Portuguese wine.
TRIO OF PORTUGUESE STARTERS
TUNA AND BLACK-EYED PEAS SALAD
1 can of black-eyed peas / 2 cans of tuna in olive oil / olive oil / vinegar and fleur de sel to taste / ½ chopped onion / 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
200 g black olives / 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. oregano / Olive oil, to taste
CHEESE AND HONEY
1 cured sheep’s or cow’s milk cheese / honey / bread and wine for serving
For the black-eyed peas salad, drain the can of peas well and empty into a bowl. Drain the tuna, break it up with a fork and add to the peas. Add the chopped onion and parsley. Then, add olive oil and vinegar. Mix salad thoroughly and let it rest 30 minutes before serving.
To make the seasoned olives, place the olives in a bowl and add the chopped garlic, dried oregano and olive oil. Mix the ingredients well and leave for a while before serving.
Then cut slices of bread and toast them lightly. While still hot, pour olive oil over the bread and season with the fleur de sel. (This is something similar to what is done at the olive oil presses to taste the new olive oil production. Normally the bread is toasted on a charcoal grill and served with freshly roasted salt cod!) Serve the seasoned olives and black-eyed peas salad on the bread slices.
Afterwards, cut some more slices of bread and place fine slices of cured cheese on them. Then, pour honey on the cheese and bread liberally and serve immediately. Bon appétit!
INGREDIENTS AVAILABLE AT AIRPORT STORES
Canned tuna in olive oil / Olive oil / Vinegar / Fleur de sel / Olives / Cured sheep’s milk cheese / Cured cow’s milk cheese / Honey
Dreams Gourmet > Airport Lisboa
Casa dos Sabores > Airport Faro
Portfolio > Airport Lisboa
Duty Free Store - Just for Travellers > Airports Lisboa, Porto, Faro and Azores
Sibarium > Airport Porto