This Greek Fava is made with yellow split pea and vegetable puree. It’s an extra healthy, vegan recipe usually served as an appetizer.
This traditional Greek recipe for yellow split pea puree is the epitome of the Mediterranean diet. Greek Fava is a nutritious, plant-based, and extremely healthy dish that also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, something that makes it ideal for a lot of people who follow a specific diet. Legumes are the base of the Mediterranean diet, and in most cases, they’re cooked with few but fresh and local ingredients, and always with extra care! Except this fava, another example of this cooking philosophy are these Greek traditional baked chickpeas (Revithada) which will surprise you with their sweet, earthy flavor and their incredibly soft texture 🙂
The most common recipe for Greek fava is made from yellow split peas and maybe a carrot. Here, some extra ingredients add depth and complexity and totally transform the flavor profile of the yellow split peas making them extra tasty, especially when you serve the puree with lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, some capers and Kalamata olives! But in case you want a recipe closer to the one they serve in almost every little Greek tavern, try this Yellow split pea puree. You can serve this with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions like the recipe suggests or with a simple drizzle of olive oil and some finely chopped red onion if you want to stay true to the Greek tradition.
The most famous fava of all is Santorini fava. Santorini (or Thira) is an island in the southern Aegean Sea which happens to be one of the top destinations in Greece and among the most romantic destinations in the world. If I remember correctly, it’s also a very popular wedding destination! The island is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption which created the current geological caldera. Because of its unique ecology, its anhydrous climate, and its volcanic ash soil, Santorini is home to unique and prized produce such as the white eggplants, capers and caper leaves, and fava. Well-known are also Santorini’s wines and it just so happens that there’s a sweet wine pannacotta recipe on this blog with Vinsanto wine as the key ingredient (and no gelatin!) 🙂
- Rinse split peas very well under running water using a large sieve. This will prevent any gunk from forming at the surface of the pot during cooking.
- Smoked paprika gives an extra dimension to this dish, so try not to omit it!
- Real Greek fava is made from a variety of yellow split peas called lathouri (Lathyrus Clymenum) which is very very tasty, so if you can find some you must definitely use that! However, other split pea varieties will give good results, but with differences in flavor.
- Greek Fava is usually served as a side or meze. But it also makes a really nice lunch!
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Yellow split pea & vegetable puree (Greek Fava)
- 1 cup yellow split peas (lathouri variety)
- 2-3 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small piece of leek, the white part, about 2 inches long, chopped
- 1 small bunch of parsley tied with some twine like a bouquet
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon thyme or savory or oregano
- 1-2 tablespoons capers
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Optional: pita bread, chopped red onion, and ouzo!
- Transfer the split peas to a sieve and rinse very well under running water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well.
- In a medium-sized pot add the olive oil, the onion, the leek, and the carrot and cook at medium/high temperature until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the split peas, the pepper, the thyme, the smoked paprika, the cumin, the cloves, and the bay leaf and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the 2 cups of water, the sugar, and the parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for about 50 minutes or until split peas are very soft and tender, almost mushy. Check the pot from time to time and if necessary add enough water to almost cover the peas.
- When the split peas are ready, discard the parsley, the bay leaf, and the cloves and puree with an immersion blender (or in a food processor), until smooth. Taste and add salt to your preference.
- Serve the fava on a large plate, sprinkle with thyme or savory, some capers, olives, lots of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Eat!
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Yellow split peas are one among the staple foods in Indian cuisine too. This looks brilliant... Pinned
Thank you Akhila!!!
This truly looks stunning, like I want to make this right now, I love everything about this, from the spices that you used to the capers..amazing recipe
Aw, thank you so much! 🙂
heather (delicious not gorgeous)
this sounds like such a delicious appetizer! my family usually has unhealthy apps, so this would be good to introduce some balance. and i love that picture of you sprinkling the capers on top!
Thank you Heather!