This Portuguese Dinner Party Menu is one of my favorite gourmet dinner party menus for entertaining a few couples. Ask everyone to bring one of the recipes on the menu and a bottle of red wine.
This menu was inspired by David Leite’s cookbook, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast.
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 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 with 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 menu for eight. When I think of Portugal, I picture cobblestone streets, rustic buildings with colorful tiles and wine. With those images in mind, I created my table setting.
I never throw away my wine corks, which came in handy for this party. I bought a couple of glass vases with wide necks, filled them with corks, wrapped raffia around the neck & topped them each with a candle. It was simple and cheap.
My Peruvian friend had these gorgeous brown ceramic bowls that she had hauled back with her from South America, and I knew those would be perfect for the main dish. Red added the bit of color needed to make the party festive and warm.
We went with Spanish wines and classic sangria for drinks. This is a typical menu of what you might find in Portugal.
Click here for a printable .pdf copy of the Portuguese Dinner Party Menu:
Portuguese Dinner Party Menu:
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
Pork Stew with Clams, Mussels and Spicy Red Pepper Sauce and Garlic Toast
Roasted Portuguese Potatoes with Smoked Sausage and Tomato
Orange Cake– (Bolo de Laranja) from Leite’s cookbook
The sangria is excellent to sip while munching on Leite’s Green Olive Dip, which is silky and creamy and perfect with flatbread. Pick up some red wines from Portugal to drink with dinner, and everything on the menu will be devoured eagerly and will be well-received.
The pork turns out pull-apart-tender, and it is served over the roasted potatoes and sausage, which makes for a nice, hearty stew. The roasted vegetable salad (no lettuce) is a good addition too. Made with olive oil and fresh oranges, the Orange Cake is 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.
Disclosure: These is an Amazon affiliate link included in this post.
Lori, what a great looking dinner. I LOVE the candle centerpieces. Next time try making the Portuguese soup called caldo verde, easy to make and delicious. Looking forward to reading about your next dinner!
I just finished making the cheese stuffed pork tenderloin…OMG how delicious. Had to make the amped up red pepper sauce in order to do the pork and it is insanely good all on its own too. What an awesome cookbook. Allison
Thank you for this post. I love learning more about my Portuguese heritage and hope to travel there some day soon. For now, I’ll just have to educate myself through this cookbook! Thanks so much 🙂
Looks like a great dinner and I definitely will take a look at David’s book…especially since I’m exploring the idea of a trip to Portugal next year. We foodies have to know the culinary scene before booking!
Lori, the table setting is fab, the menu is making me hungry and I wish we lived closer so I could “crash” these dinners!
What a party! I would love to recreate this one- everything sounds marvelous and paired with Portuguese wines it would be very memorable.
I just got that cookbook, and am so excited to begin making things out of it. I love the idea of a Portuguese dinner party- everything looks so good.
Lori, this is really fabulous. It looks delicious and your table is beautiful! Love you Mom’s pics, too
Your dinner guests must always be in Heaven. I can just imagine their faces when they receive an invitation from you. Sheer delight!
Lori- I lived in Portugal for several months! I am so excited to see you reviewing this cookbook. I miss it so much – I was just discussing a trip in October, 2010. The food is very unique in Portugal, and I think many Americans know so little about it. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Wow, it all looks so good and your table…beautiful!
This sounds so good Lori! What an awesome way to celebrate your heritage! Everything looks mouthwatering.
i have to make that cake like right now
Lori, this is STUNNING! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes!
Everything looks so inviting. The stew sounds oh so “comfy.”
My hubs is 100% Portuguese and would love to sit at this table. Lovely tablescape.
Absolutely beautiful; the food and the table! Love your idea for wine corks and being a wino…err, wine person; would love to know what wines you served with this meal!
Oh I wish I was on the guest list for this party. Fantastic food and it looks as if Martha was there guiding you in your decorating. Fabulous!
What a beautiful post Lori! I want to travel now and eat all that good food!
Everything sounds absolutely wonderful, and the table is beautiful.
What a fabulous menu! I love the table setting, it looks like it created the perfect mood!
Wonderful menu! And you must be so pleased everything turned out beautifully. Being dessert minded, I have to agree that cake looks delicious!