Acorda (pronounced asorda). You might describe it as a bread risotto, or a savoury porridge – not pretty, but delicious. It is true Portuguese peasant cooking and highlights Portugal’s excellent bread and olive oil. So get your hands on some quality oil and country bread. The bread should be a little stale to really soak up the flavours. For this vegan version I’ve teamed the traditional flavours of garlic and coriander with mushrooms, rather than seafood or egg. As with a risotto, you start with a good broth: this one would also make an excellent light soup. The acorda is great with some roast pumpkin or squash on the side. Coming soon: a bonus post with a hack on preparing butternut squash quickly. Otherwise, serve with a rucola salad. And if anyone has a recipe for Sopa Alentejana, please let me know!
vegan acorda with mushrooms
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled but whole
1 large carrot
2 celery stalks
a few parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
3 pepper corns
salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
200 gr mushrooms, wiped and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
250 gr bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces
75 ml white wine
a pinch of paprika
leaves from a bunch of coriander, torn into small pieces
handful pine nuts
salt and pepper
Warm 1 tbsp of oil in a a saucepan and add the other ingredients for the broth, stir well and add 1 litre of water.
Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to very low and simmer for half an hour.
Warm 1 tbsp of oil and fry the mushrooms with a little salt and the paprika until golden. Remove from the pan and reserve.
In the same pan, fry the 2 cloves of chopped garlic in the remaining tbsp of oil for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and let it reduce a little.
Stir in the bread.
Now add about half the broth and stir well, reducing the bread to a pulp.
Stir in more broth until the acorda has a thick, porridgy consistency. Stir the mushrooms back in with the coriander, reserving a few leaves to serve. Taste for seasoning.
Toast the pine nuts until golden brown.
Serve the acorda sprinkled with the pine nuts and a few coriander leaves.