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
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Wash and rinse split peas in a colander
- In a medium pot, heat ½ cup of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until they become wilted. Add in the split peas and coat with olive oil. Add water to the pan so that the split peas are covered and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and slowly cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours, checking and stirring the peas occasionally. Add water to the pan throughout and mix together.
- When the split peas have softened and look mashed together, take off heat and mix in the salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Serve as is for a chunky texture.
- For a smoother finish, put contents into a blender (immersion blender or transfer to a food processor) and add lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Season to taste.
- Serve on a platter and drizzle with olive oil and toppings and enjoy!