Portuguese Salad of Black-Eyed Peas with Tuna

Portuguese Black-Eyed Peas and Tuna Salad

This is a classic recipe popular in the Estremadura region, which is made by home cooks and chefs alike. In my kitchen, I rarely make it the same way twice, and I suggest you don’t, either.

In winter, I’ve eaten it warm crowned with chopped hard-boiled eggs or sliced boiled potatoes that I’ve browned in a skillet. For a light summer lunch, I’ve served it cold with slices of crisp apples or pears. I’ve even served it, minus the tuna, alongside medium-rare grilled tuna steaks — a sort of deconstructed homage to its origins.–David Leite

Portuguese Salad of Black-Eyed Peas with Tuna

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 20 M
  • 5 H
  • Serves 4 to 6
4.7/5 - 3 reviews
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Soak the beans in a large saucepan for 2 hours in enough water to cover by 2 inches. Drain and fill the pot with fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender but still hold their shape, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar until blended. In a large serving bowl, combine the beans, onion, garlic, and 3 tablespoons of the parsley. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Fold in the tuna, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to blend. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

Take a taste. Add a splash of oil or vinegar or season with salt and pepper, if needed. Toss, sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley, and bring to the table.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

I had some black-eyed peas in my cabinet that I needed to use up and ran across this recipe. Surprise! I had all the other ingredients on hand as well. It seemed the perfect summer meal, and it was. I cooked my peas in the morning and mixed up the salad to let it blend in the fridge. I took it out when I started to make some cornbread to go with it, and I let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, as suggested in the recipe. I usually don’t enjoy black-eyed peas without tomatoes, but this was an eye-opener, as it was delicious. Even my picky hubby enjoyed this one. A perfect light summer meal on a hot, humid day.


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  1. I made Atum com Feijão Frade from David’s recipe in Milk Street magazine November/December 2020.
    It was delicious. And, I am not a salad person.
    Use good tuna. I used Ortiz, Tuna Bonito Del Norte In Olive Oil Jar, 280g, $14 USD.

  2. Unexpected time on my hands (rescheduling due to that #bombdiggity #Grayson!) and thinking now I can have a proper lunch. What to make? Haven’t had my new year’s blackeyed peas…but nary a pork product in the house. THESE are happening. I think slivers of fennel would be a nice complement and lots of fresh parsley, and yes an egg or two…reporting back soon. Thanks to Instant pot, no worries I didn’t soak these last night!

    1. Oh, Jacqueline, you got to this before I had a chance to tweak it. I made these for New Year’s, and instead of water, I soaked them in chicken stock. Over-the-top lusciousness.

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