Tapas Off the Beaten Track: Portuguese Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This is a dish I came across in a Portuguese wine bar & specialty shop in Düsseldorf that I used to frequent and which serves a small, but exquisite selection of Portuguese foods and drinks in an environment where you really do not know where to turn head first: Finding yourself amongst huge shelves filled with bottles, cans, jars and crockery lining the walls of the narrow shop, wooden sailor figurines, colorfully painted Mary statuettes, bird cages and all kinds of naval kitsch hanging from the walls, ceiling and shelves and ornamented tiling covering the floor and the wall behind the bar, there is much to distract (and amuse) the eye. In fact, it was the perfect retreat to enjoy Southern European comfort in the midst of many a rainy Düsseldorf afternoon for me for many years and I make sure I render the place a visit every time I pass through town 🙂


Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • 125 grams of dry black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 can of tuna filets, preserved in water (approximately 100 grams)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, salt


  1. Boil the soaked peas in lightly salted water for approximately 25 minutes (al dente).
  2. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water until cooled down.
  3. Break the tuna filets into small shreds.
  4. In a bowl, gently mix the peas, tuna shreds, shallot, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Cover with cellophane or fill into an airtight container and let the flavors infuse (best overnight). Keep in the fridge during this time.
  6. Remove from the fridge approximately 20-30 minutes before serving.

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