Today after nearly two months in the rolling Portuguese mountains, we left Da Manta. As we drove away The Waterboys' "Too Close to Heaven" created a melodramatic soundtrack pushing us tears. On the journey to Porto nostalgic conversations became reminders of how much we acquired while working here. Menno has been an incredible mentor in the kitchen, and the skills and knowledge he has passed along to us will not soon be lost.
At the moment, leaving this home and family is the closest thing to a breakup we could experience, and it's agreed that what we're feeling is suitably described as heartache. As is taught with any breakup it is important to look through the initial pain to appreciate the growth experienced and what you gained through the relationship, which for us, was a lot. Working with new ingredients, techniques, recipes, and mass quantities has improved numerous aspects of our cooking and exponentially broadened our recipe reserve. The copious amounts of fresh garden lettuce, new cherries ripening daily, and a herb garden just steps from the kitchen door will be missed, but we have never been more inspired to get our own seeds sprouting. We are blessed to have been unconditionally encouraged to keep our dreams bigger than our reality and to pursue them wholely.
Moving on during a breakup is hard, but a key part of the proccess lies in the rebound, in this case, a new adventure, so here's hoping the remedy is found in our next stop, Ireland!
In dedication to our stay at Da Manta this recipe is one of our favorite Menno creations. Its a simple sauce that he originally made to accompany meats as a chimichurri, and is now a staple at the weekly pizza nights used either mixed with tomato sauce or on its own as a spicy green topper. For us saucey gals its absolutely appropriate to put on... Everything.
- one parsley bunch
- one coriander bunch
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 TBSP dried oregano
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 hot chilis, deseeded
- 2 lemons zest and juice
- 2 cups olive oil
- sing a mortar and pestle, or alternatively a garlic press, combine garlic and chilis until a paste is formed. Combine with olive oil and lemon.
- Finely chop parsley, coriander, and bay leaves and add to oil mixture. Enjoy!
Note: We tried this sauce with lime replacing the lemon- also great!
Fat is necessary. Olive oil can be a good choice of fat when used in moderation; extra virgin olive oil contains compounds known as phytonutrients which work to reduce inflammation in the body.
Along with this health quality, olive oil provides a myriad of other benefits including reductions in cholesterol levels due to its high monounsaturated fat content. Studies have shown when participants switched up their fat intakes to increase monounsaturated fat- they had reductions in total blood cholesterol while their good HDL cholesterol- a an essential component necessary for cell structure- remained regular.
Extra Virgin is considered to be the highest quality olive oil due to being less processed and refined- therefore maintaining its flavour, rich consistency, and health benefits.
It has long been thought that olive oil is a healthy fat source which should be regularly consumed- just look at the Mediterranean diet!
The Mediterranean diet, formulated on traditional and unprocessed foods recommends liberal daily consumption of olive oil. Mediterranean citizens following this diet have some of the longest life expectancy and lowest heart disease rates in the world- often attributed to olive oil.