Usually when someone offers you wine, the selection is typically between red and white. Next time you are offered green wine, don't assume it's some weird St. Patrick's Day cocktail or some Dr. Seuss invention. Vinho Verde, or green wine, is a typical drink in Portugal. Unfortunately, it's pretty difficult to find outside of Portugal, Brazil or Macau. I haven't had any in years, but I recently found some at Trader Joe's, of all places.
Believe it or not, this was $4.50. Per bottle. It's seriously amazing. I'm only disappointed that I found it in September, because it is the perfect summer drink. Although the name does literally translate to green wine, it's not really green. The name refers to the age of the wine, meaning it's very young. (AKA - don't hide this in your pantry and think the value will increase. It will most certainly not.) It's really refreshing, a little bit sparkling, very light, has a slightly apply taste and has a lower alcohol content than typical wines - 9% to the standard 14%. Which is great, because it makes drinking the entire bottle a real possibility. As in, good luck not drinking the whole bottle.
Even though this is definitely a warm weather wine that pairs well with salads and fish, it was kind of chilly here this weekend. And rainy. And blah. I wanted to eat something hearty, warm and substantial to counteract the terrible weather. I ended up making Caldo Verde - green soup.
This Portuguese soup is a classic dish for chilly weather, and it can actually be made into an incredibly healthy meal. To make it authentically, you would add in chorizo sausage (I used chicken and turkey sausage). Here's how I made it:
6 cups of chicken broth
4 new potatoes (small), roughly chopped
1 whole sweet potato, roughly chopped
4 cups of shredded kale
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 whole onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, diced
-Brown the sausages whole in a hot pan with olive oil, searing all sides. Set aside.
-Place chopped onions in a hot pot with more olive oil and cook for five minutes.
-Add garlic to the onion mixture and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
-Add all 6 cups of chicken broth, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and potatoes and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat, or until potatoes are soft.
-Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to smash potatoes and create a thicker, starchier broth. (Don't make the soup smooth, as the rustic look with pieces is the desired result. )
-Slice the sausages into oval pieces and add to the soup for 5 minutes.
-Add the kale (with stems removed) to the broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until kale is soft.
Serve and enjoy! It's best with a slice of bread or a roll to sop up the goodness - Tim and I went through lots of bread (gluten-free for me!) when eating this. It was delicious and the perfect autumn dish.
Have you ever had Portuguese food? What's your favorite dish/drink?
I've never been to Portugal, but I have had some pretty authentic food from Macau (a former Portuguese colony in China). I love the little Portuguese egg custard tarts, but I really hate the salted cod that seems to be typical in Portuguese cuisine. Really not a fan.
(Side note: The middle picture of me in the header with wine and bread is from a Portuguese restaurant! )
Do you shop at Trader Joe's?
I haven't been in years, but I went last week in Nashville and got hooked! I went again this week and managed to find one pretty close to me (an hour, but it's worth it!)