There is something so special about going home. The excitement of the journey, the two hours of flying time you spend planning the following days, and the food you share with the family and friends when reunited. This week’s short but sweet trip was filled with wonderful, simple and delicious meals from the wonderful breakfasts, the visits to the most varied local fish market to the delicious languid lunches where you try dishes that you almost forgot. One of them is the salad that I present you with today. A multi-coloured grilled squid salad, fresh, tangy and utterly delicious. And because Easter is on our doorstep, I give you a simple recipe of “Pao-de-Ló” cake. This traditional dessert is flowering at the moment in any good bakery and delicatessen. It is one of my favourite cakes of all time.
Grilled lemon squid with a mixed bean salad & a chili salsa verde recipe
500g of fresh squid (gutted and cleaned)
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper
For the salad
500g of dried mixed beans
(alternatively 2 cans of organic mix beans)
3 chopped celery sticks
2 small shredded carrots
For the chili salsa verde
1 small finely chopped chili
1 small bunch of parsley
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt & pepper
On a plate season the squid with salt & pepper plus the lemon juice. Place them into the fridge for a couple of hours.
If using dried beans, soak them in water overnight. Place them in a pan with water and let them boil for 20 minutes until soft but not mushy. Drain and set aside. When cool, place the beans on a bowl, the chopped celery sticks and the shredded carrots. Prepare the chili salsa verde by mixing the finely chopped chili and parsley with the olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and mix well. Pour it over the bean salad and mix well. Set aside.
Rub a few drops of olive oil on each squid and grill them on a very hot pan for three minutes each side. Serve them hot on top of the mixed bean salad.
Easy “Pão-de-Ló” cake
250g of sugar
200g of self-raising flour
1 tsp of vanilla essence
Pre-heat the oven at 180 ºC.
Grease a 23cm diameter spring form with butter and line it with parchment paper.
In two bowls, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whisk the whites into soft peaks and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar for 30 minutes non-stop. The mixture will be the double of its initial size. Add in the vanilla essence and the sifted flour. Beat well.
Fold in slowly the egg whites.
Transfer this cake mixure into the spring form and bake it in the oven for 1 hour till golden. To certify this is ready, pierce the centre of the cake with a knife which should come out dry. Remove from the oven and let it cool down completely. Serve in slices.