We traveled to Portugal a couple of years ago, and it might have been one of the best vacations we ever had. Beautiful country, friendly people and delicious food. We started our journey in Lisbon, a fantastic city - vibrant and clean. After that we drove South to the Algarve region. The drive was absolutely beautiful as we passed vineyards and farms.
The Algarve region was our favorite. I was excited to even have seen some Indian foods on the menu, Because of Portugal's occupation of Goa in India, many dishes in Goa have a Portuguese inspiration and it was wonderful to see my favorite Shrimp Coconut Curry in Portugal.
The biggest adventure for me was a cooking class that we took where we learned how to make a traditional Portuguese seafood stew called "Cataplana" - named after the large earthenware vessel it is cooked in.
My recipe was inspired by a delicious feta and pomegranate appetizer that was out of this world. It is sweet, sour and salty all at once and a perfect start to any meal or great as an appetizer at your party. The original dish I had in Portugal calls for feta cheese, but I have replaced that with tofu so that my dad, who is vegan, could enjoy it. Hope you enjoy it too.
Serves: 8 to 10
Prep time – 5 minutes
Total time – 25 minutes (includes 20 minutes rest time)
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon Nigella seeds
¼ teaspoon Fennel seeds
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or any other vinegar)
2 tablespoons lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cup crumbled tofu (about 7 oz)
A pinch of chili powder (optional)
1 to 1 1/2 cup Pomegranate
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, vinegar, lime juice, salt, cilantro and chili powder.
Gently mix in the crumbled tofu.
Set aside for about 20 minutes to let the flavors infuse well.
Fold in the pomegranate into the tofu mix.
Scoop out little bite sized portions into soup spoons or little bowls and serve.