As soon as I got wind of David Leite’s new cookbook, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, I knew it was going to have to be an immediate addition to my ever-expanding cookbook collection.
David Leite definitely did his homework on this one. He spent several years traveling and eating his way through Portugal, where he discovered many dishes that were updates on old Portuguese classics. His new cookbook covers both classic and contemporary, tucking a few family favorites in there too. The food photography in the book is well-shot, and there are gorgeous photos of Portugual throughout the book. Leite took the time to introduce each recipe and tell a story as to how the recipe came to be. A few of the recipes that are on my list to make: Goat Cheese, Walnut & Honey Triangles, Azorean, Sausage & Bean Soup, Sea Bass w/ Fennel & Orange, Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Momma Leite’s Braised Beef in Wine & Garlic, Black Olive Risotto, Portuguese Pizza and Rosemary Custard.
I was especially delighted to read that Leite spent some time in Lisbon. Though I haven’t traveled there myself, my Mother and Aunt had quite the time in Lisbon researching our family’s history and discovering that there was a street named after their great grandmother, who wrote for a Lisbon newspaper and was a well-known playwright and poet.
Colorful tiles on the buildings are quite common in Lisbon.
Leite’s cookbook inspired me to put together a Portuguese Dinner Party for eight.
Smoked Ham with Melon (presunto com melao)
No recipe for this one… just wrapped prosciutto di Parma around chunks of cantaloupe
Green Olive Dip (pate de azeitonas verdes)- from Leite’s cookbook
Orange Cake- from Leite’s cookbook
The sangria was an excellent to sip while munching on Leite’s Green Olive Dip, which was silky & creamy and perfect with flatbread. We picked up some red wines from Portugal to drink with dinner, and everything on the menu was devoured eagerly and well-received. The pork turned out pull-apart-tender, and it was served over the roasted potatoes and sausage, which made for a nice, hearty stew. The roasted vegetable salad (no lettuce) was a good addition too. Made with olive oil and fresh oranges, the Orange Cake was especially out-of-this-world moist and delicioso (my favorite recipe of the dinner party).
All of the recipes featured can be found by clicking on recipe titles above.