Portuguese Salad of Black-Eyed Peas with Tuna

Portuguese Salad of Black-Eyed Peas with Tuna Recipe

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 Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 5 H
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or more if you want a zingier taste
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut in half then sliced into thin half moons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, thinly sliced
  • 9 ounces (1 1/2 six-ounce cans) imported tuna in oil, well drained and lightly flaked
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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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