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. I must have this cookbook. My grandparents on my fathers side were both fron Flores in the Azores. My older sister was lucky enough to have her wonderful children take her on a trip there this summer. The pictures made my homesick for a place I have never been. Maybe this book will fill some of that void I’m feeling for that beautiful place.

  2. I really love all the pictures at the beginning! I can’t wait to try the bread recipe. It looks so cute when it’s finished. I am definitely going to make this asap. YUM.

  3. David,

    My friend, Laura, and I, have a Quarterly Cooking Adventure where we cook things we want to learn more about. This time it was my choice, and I chose recipes from your book. I lived in Lisbon many years ago, and have fond memories of the food. Your recipes are a revelation – such wonderful twists on traditional ingredients.

    We made the Peixinhos da Horta (served with both the Maionese de cilantro e gengibre and the Massa de pimentao forte) accompanied by vinho verde Gazela; Rizoto de Azeitonas Pretas, accompanied by a red Dolcetto D’Alba; and Mexilhoes de Caril over rice, using a Zanzibar curry from Savory, accompanied by a white Alento wine. Desserts were the Biscoitos de limao e azeitonas pretas with vanilla ice cream, and the Mousse de chocolate with the pink peppercorns and Portuguese flor de sal (also from Savory).

    What delicious food!! I will be cooking from this book over and over. Thank you so much for all the time you put into creating it!

  4. David,

    Congratulations on the new book. The recipes and descriptions bring back many memories from my youth growing up in Taunton, Mass (another great Portuguese settlement). I was wondering if you are familiar with a meal my Madeiran Grandparents used to prepare for Christmas Day. It was a marinated pork dish. The pork was cut into small bite sized pieces. They would also put sliced Portuguese rolls on top of the pork just before it finished cooking, which would soak up some of the fabulous tastes from the pork and marinade.



    1. Hello, Rich, thanks for the kind words. Taunton, RI, is not too far from Fall River, MA, where I grew up.

      The dish you’re remember is carne com vinha d’alhos. It’s pork pieces marinated then cooked in a wine-garlic sauce and served on rolls. Here’s an article on the dish: Carne com Vinha d’Alhos.

  5. Hi,
    I bought your book and got it delivered yesterday, I had to read it in one go… now I must put in practice some receipts.
    I am Portuguese born and raised, from Tras-os-Montes. Although some of the receipts that you present are not truly traditional, I loved it. I also enjoyed the stories, the regional details, the wine makers list and how you make the most of tradition in a contemporary cooking book. Surely, you made me proud of my country.

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