New Portuguese Table

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First Book/Julia Chid Award teaser

Food photography by Nuno Correia / Design by Stephanie Huntwork

Bread Chapter

Bread chapter opening page

Rissois de Carne (Beef Turnovers)

Recipe layout for Beef Turnovers (Rissóis de Carne)


Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, Portugal is today’s hot-spot vacation destination, and world travelers are enthralled by the unique yet familiar cuisine of this country. The New Portuguese Table takes you on a culinary journey into the soul of this fascinating nation and looks at its 11 surprisingly different historical regions, as well as the island of Madeira and the Azores, and their food culture, typical dishes, and wines. This book also showcases Portugal’s pantry of go-to ingredients, such as smoked sausages, peppers, cilantro, seafood, olive oil, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and bay leaves — all beloved by Americans and now combined in innovative ways.

In The New Portuguese Table, David Leite provides a contemporary look at the flavorful food of this gastronomic region, sharing both the beloved classics he remembers from cooking at his grandmother’s side, such as Slowly Simmered White Beans and Sausage, as well as modern dishes defining the country today, like Olive Oil–Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce. With nearly 100 full-color photographs and a contemporary perspective, The New Portuguese Table is the handbook to the exciting cuisine of Portugal.

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What people are saying about  recipes in The New Portuguese Table

Sea Bass with Fennel and Orange
This sauce is so lovely. The proportions of the sauce are perfect; it’s really a great combination of flavors. It comes together so quickly, then comes out so pretty! Perfect for any night of the week.

Skate with Leeks in a Saffron Broth
I used rock cod and red peppers. The [saffron] taste remained delicate, yet was rich and pronounced. It was certainly delicious and dinner-party worthy. Definitely goes into the do-again list.

Grilled Shrimp with Piri-Piri Sauce
Well, isn’t this the best quick shrimp dish ever! Having made the piri-piri sauce in advance (a couple weeks ago, as directed), I threw in the shrimp in the morning. They went on the grill for a few minutes before dinner, and there we had it! A salad tossed together and dinner was served. I did put a little bowl of piri-piri sauce out, but the shrimp had absorbed so much flavor, it wasn’t even touched.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Coconut Sauce
I started marinating the chicken breasts the night before, so they were in more than 24 hours. The taste was wonderful! With the long marinade, the chicken really absorbed the flavors. I have to say that this dish wasn’t what I imagined to be Portuguese flavors. We certainly see Portuguese influence in dishes from around the world, and it only makes sense that there would also be some cross-pollination.

Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
If there is anything that outshines the compelling smell of the amped-up red pepper paste as the tenderloin hits the skillet, it’s got to be the taste of the pork, with the sauce on the outside and the cheese on the inside. I served roasted carrots and turnips on the plate, and a green salad on the side. A complete winner for the senses and a worthwhile dinner party dish, to be sure.

Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus and Fresh Cod
Creamy eggs with onions, garlic, asparagus, and fried potatoes, are placed atop the spears of asparagus and make a soft landing for the seared cod. I used the suggested herb oil from page 40, which consisted of a bouquet from the garden heated in Tuscan olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes. This was a very nice addition and I used more of the oil for roasting vegetables at dinner time. All in all, a lovely meal for brunch, or anytime.

Punched Potatoes
Why are these potatoes so creamy? Leite mentions the creamy texture in the intro to the recipe, but I wasn’t expecting anything different from a usual roasted potato. Does the salt on the skin do something? Anyway, I don’t know the answer, but I loved these potatoes and the technique.

Baked Custard Tarts
Just fantastic. Not completely 100% authentic but close enough and utterly delicious. The dough is a little fussy to prepare but well worth the effort.

All reviews courtesy of members of Eat Your Books.


  1. Please share some delicious healthy food recipes for my 18 months old baby. Now he is interested to have varieties of food.

    1. italian food recipes, not being a father, nor having been around 18-month-olds, I really don’t know what kind of food they can eat. But if you pick up a copy of the book–at the store or library–you can make far better and appropriate choice than I. Now…if you’re looking for ideas for cats, I got you covered!

  2. Just finished reading through the book. I can’t wait to start cooking! Thanks for putting all of these great recipes together. My parents are from the Bairrada section of Portugal where food seems to always be a focal point. When I was growing up, my mom was always in the kitchen and I learned a lot from her. I cook everyday for my family…and usually something Portuguese. Parabéns AND Obrigado!

    1. Michael, thank you for your kind words. It was a honor to write the book, and it’s a pleasure to see so many folks of Portuguese heritage enjoying the book. Muito obrigado!

  3. One of the best memories of my trip this past August occurred in Faro.

    I arrived at night, hungry & sleepy and wanted a small quick bite before going to bed. I was advised to sample at Tasca do Ricky: “go outside and take the alley, make a left, make another left, you will come to a square, make a right, then another square and then you will make a right. Tasca do Ricky will be there.”

    Well….I made multiple rounds navigating left & right, then left again on those worn, white cobblestone streets past a coffee-shop, a church, and a square…again & again. I eventually learned that Tasca do Ricky is closed on Sunday, but I had a fabulous tuna sandwich that was carefully crafted by hand…down to the bread and all the toppings being freshly sliced.

    When I return to the Algarve I will revisit Faro on a weekday and check out TDR. It seemed like a small city that had some offerings overlooked by many.

    1. Ruthie, Faro is a lovely small city, eight there on the sea. It’s a bit touristy, but as you quickly discovered, you can get lost (literally and figuratively) in it’s charm. I definetely encourange you to check it out hwen you return, and also hop over to Tavira. It too is a lovely small city. And while you’re there, look for the amazing door knockers they have.

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