Santorini is known as the beautiful Greek island with whitewashed homes and fences set against the Mediterranean Sea, creating some of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world. Santorini is a must visit. Besides the stunning beauty, Santorini is also known throughout Greece as producing the best yellow split peas. Tavernas all over the island use those split peas to create an island favorite—fava. Do not confuse this dish with fava beans (koukia). However fava got its name, it’s a puree of split peas, onions, olive oil and herbs, and is typically served as a meze (appetizer). It can be served creamy (by using a blender) or chunky (served directly from the pot) depending on your liking. To give it an extra flair and flavor, fava can be topped with a variety of garnishes, such as; diced red onions, feta cheese, capers, chopped parsley, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or anchovies. Fava is best paired with crusty bread as a dip, or eaten plain as a side dish.
Fava is smooth, warm, delicious, and extremely healthy. If you’re lucky enough to visit Santorini be sure to try the fava, and put your spoon down long enough to enjoy that picturesque sunset that Santorini is known for. But don’t fret; you don’t have to be in Santorini to eat fava. This recipe will stimulate your taste buds just like the tavernas do in Santorini so you can enjoy fava in your home year round from sunrise to sunset.
- 1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Wash and rinse split peas in a colander.
- Place the peas, garlic, onions, bay leaves, and half the olive oil in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the peas and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that forms on the surface.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, checking and stirring the peas occasionally. Add water to the pan throughout if needed. Cook until the peas soften (about 30-45 minutes).
- When the split peas have softened and look mashed together, remove from heat and mix in the salt, pepper, and oregano. Remove the bay leaves.
- Transfer contents into a food processor (or you can use an immersion blender) and add lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Blend until desired texture, chunky or smooth. Season to taste.
- Serve and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with toppings of choice. Enjoy!