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. David,

    I rec’d The New Portuguese Table as a Christmas gift, an autographed copy I might add. I’ve been reading it over the past two days and am fascinated. Like you, I never really embraced Portuguese foods until later in life. My wife is Polish, and we celebrate many of her traditions, but now we’re sharing both cultures.

    It all started with a trip to Al Forno in Providence and their chorizo and clams. The dish was similar to your clams in a cataplana, which I’m looking forward to making with my daughters. They love to help in the kitchen, and we’re looking forward to cooking your recipes together. Not sure we’re ready to try the custard tarts though, we’ll save those for our next trip to the White Rose in Fall River…

  2. Hi David, I love the book and the recipes in it. I attended your presentation at Boston University last night and LOVED every minute of it. I love seeing Portugese people in the media, writing books, acting, singing. I feel that Portugal is a country that doesn’t get enough credit.

    1. Lidia, so glad you enjoyed the presentation. The culinary students did I great job, and I enjoyed working with them. And I agree that Portugal and Portuguese people don’t get the exposure they deserve. But that’s slowly changing.

  3. Hi David,

    Received my signed copy of “New Portuguese Table’ that I won in your last round of giveaways. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOOK! After looking over all of the new recipes, I can definitely say for my wife and I it is going to be tough to decide what to try first. Wanted to say a big THANKS for the book and all of the useful info offered on your site. Thanks again, Steve C

    1. Steve, first congratulations on winning the book. It’s one of our most popular giveaways. Second, I’m so happy you like the book. I hope you enjoy it and find many recipe to make again and again. If you want suggestions, just let me know!

  4. Olá David.

    Picked up your book in NY on my way back to Portugal. As a fellow American living in Lisboa (Graça to be exact), where exactly is this bakery for the magical orange-olive oil cake?

    1. Olá, Nicholas. The recipe is adapted from a cake that I had at a tiny, tiny resto call Pappas. It’s just up the street from the Sé Catherdral. When I visited last, after I moved from Lisbon, they were no longer serving it.

  5. Ola David, tudo bem?

    I am so excited to learn about your cookbook! I’m an Indian-American woman who is married to an Azorean-Cape Verdean (who grew up in Sao Miguel). We live in Paris and both love to cook. I’m interested in learning more about Portuguese cuisine and culinary history, so I can’t wait to order your book.

    MUITO obrigada!

    1. Ramya,

      Thank you for your very kind words. I hope you enjoy the book. In it are several recipes from my family, which is from São Miguel.

      Ah, Paris. Was there on my birthday. We’ve made a commitment to go back one a year. WE just love it there.

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