Mixed bean, spinach and herb salad w/ artichoke, olive & red pepper

Mixed bean, spinach and herb salad w/ artichoke, olive & red pepper

MIXED BEAN, SPINACH & HERB SALAD W/ ARTICHOKE, OLIVE AND RED PEPPER / SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 360g drained mixed beans (I used fava, rosecoco and black eye beans)
  • 80g whole pitted black olives
  • 100g spinach, shredded
  • 20g parsley, finely chopped
  • 10g mint, finely chopped
  • 2 large spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 whole roasted red peppers (from a jar), roughly chopped
  • 140g marinated artichoke hearts (from a jar), finely chopped
  • 4 sundried tomatoes (from a jar), finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Pul biber, to serve

METHOD

Quite simply... add all the above ingredients bar the pul biber in a large bowl and combine well, adding the lemon and olive oil last, then salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the pul biber over to serve. And that's it. I served with some flatbread. 

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As for vegan eating in Lisbon and Porto? Lisbon was quite tough, I won't lie. The last time we visited in 2015 we were still eating eggs and dairy so we were able to eat without any issues. However, Lisbon does err on the more traditional side of things so veganism is still quite an alien concept to many. We managed though: we ate vegan burgers at Vegana Burguers (located in a slightly bizarre shopping centre) and had dinner at the vegetarian restaurant Psi. I managed to get, with a bit of gentle persuasion, a delicious mushroom, potato and red pepper salad from one of the food stands at Mercado da Ribeira (although even that was quite a struggle). We also stumbled upon these mythical vegan empanadas - with a variety of fillings including seitan, tofu, shiitake mushroom, lentil - in a health food shop out near the Expo '98 site, which was an excellent find. 

Porto, however, was a totally different story. The city has a much younger, more modern feel to it and this is reflected in the food and drink on offer. Not only are there a variety of specifically vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafes, most of the omni places have either vegan options or they allow you to tailor menu items. We ate burgers at Black Mamba, an entirely vegan burger joint and record shop. We ate vegan francesinha and custard tarts at Lupin. We ate tailored versions of the tofu sandwich and veggie burgers at Ze do Prego. We ate some delicious (if rather bizarre) tofu balls and chips while drinking sangria in the old town one long, sunny afternoon. We even managed, with a kindly understanding waiter, to eat a really delicious meal with our omni friends at the very meat/fish-heavy Cantina 32, the Porto it-restaurant of the moment. We were happy to be able to eat with friends and not have to be *that* annoying couple. And that's not to mention all the brilliant food stands at NOS Primavera, which I didn't make a note of. Needless to say, we didn't go hungry. I didn't really take any photos, but here is the Black Mamba burger and here is the Lupin francesinha. A vegan success in all. And a beautiful city which we didn't want to leave!