Creamy Greek Fava-Yellow Split Pea Puree

February 13, 2012
By

As a child my mom for some reason never made fava, we ate plenty of lentil soup but not the fava, this yellow split pea puree. I came across it as an appetizer in tavernes (plural in Greek for taverna) here in Greece, but unfortunately modern Greeks rarely eat it at home anymore.

Once my older son began eating solid food I made sure he ate traditional, seasonal, organic Greek dishes. So when he started eating beans, I made him fava. It’s easy, tasty, and hearty, especially on a cold day.

I use the original recipe from the traditional Greek cookbook from Hrisa Paradisi. You basically boil the beans and onion, and then puree them. I used a food mill instead of a food processor to puree the beans, but you can use whatever you feel comfortable with.

I ate the fava right after I took it off the stove; it was creamy, it was warm, it was the ultimate comfort food. Of course, it’s not only soothing to eat, it is healthy. Obviously the beans are healthy, full of antioxidants and non-animal protein, but also the combination of lemon, onion, and olive oil make fava an antioxidant powerhouse.

It is thought that this dish is only an appetizer or dip but it can also be a main course.

Fava

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound fava (about 1/2 kilogram). These are not broad beans but yellow split peas.
  • 2 whole onions chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon
  • Parsley

 

DIRECTIONS

1.Rinse the fava.

2. Boil the beans together with the onions and 6-7 cups of water for about 1 ½ hour.

3. Pass it through a food mill or puree sieve.

4. Put the puree in the pot again and warm up, add some salt, pepper and about ¼ cup of olive oil. Let it come to a boil for a few minutes.

5. Serve with some chopped raw onion, parsley and lemon.

 

Photo Credit: Santorini Fava Purée by Klearchos Kapoutsis
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16 Responses to Creamy Greek Fava-Yellow Split Pea Puree

  1. February 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    When I visited Crete last year Fava seemed to be on every table and I loved it. Sorry to read that it’s only enjoyed in restaurants these days, but I’m glad to have the recipe at hand here on olivetomato. Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      September 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      That depends where you go and who you talk to.
      I’m lucky enough to go to Crete each summer. I have a number of greek friends and they all cook traditional foods. One of my friends will only have traditional dishes in a restaurant when I’m there because she cooks traditional dishes at home, as do the rest of her family.
      She knows what foods are in season and, lucky me, when we are out to dinner she will also tell me how to make the dishes. Unfortunately it never tastes quite the same as good as our ingredients are not as good.

      There are non tourist restaurants everywhere and the staff are always happy to discuss the dishes and how they are cooked – this is very normal for greeks and they are always surprised when customers dont ask!

    • john
      January 21, 2013 at 2:17 am

      HI CURTIS, NOT TRUE ABOUT FAVA IS SERVED IN RESTAURANTS ONLY, I HAVE IT HOME OFTEN. YOU CAN TOO WHEN EVER YOU FEEL LIKE IT, WITH SOME FRESH BREAD AND VIRGIN OLIVE OIL,ALSO GREEK SALAD, TOMATOES, CUCUMBER, SCALLIONS,FRYING PEPPER, THAT’S THE LONG LIGHT GREEN ONCE. FETA, LITTLE WINE VINEGAR, GRANULATED GARLIC, SALT SOME OREGANO, VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, MIX WELL AND ENJOY WITH FRESH BREAD. BON APATITE OR KALI OREKSI LIKE WE SAY IN GREEK

  2. Anonymous
    May 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    This is the only recipe I have found on the web that actually tastes like the fava dip you get in Greece. Delicious!

  3. Dina
    November 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I bought the fava split peas in a supermarket that has a lot of Greek food (it is Greek chain) and had no idea how to prepare it, since the only information on the package was in Greek. Luckily, after some search on the Internet I found your blog. No nonsense, simple-therefore must be traditional and pure Mediterranean:) Thanks!

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      November 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Dina,
      I’m glad you found the recipe, yes simple but tasty!

  4. martha
    March 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Good recipe – but you left out something quite important. Adding all the water at once will result in a very liquidy mass that won’t set. You add the water just enough to cover the fava – as it is absorbed, you add more. You’ll see that it makes a difference. Great site, by the way

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      March 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Thanks for the tip Martha. However, you need a good amount of water to have a creamy fava, also the amount of water included in the recipe is calculated to be the right amount for the amount of fava, and you simmer until it sets, so there is no risk of having a liquidy fava, I’ve never had that happen to me so far.

    • Anonymous
      May 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Just got back from Santorini, where I took a Greek cooking class. The chef did not add all the water at once, but added enough water to cover, let it cook down, and added more water, for a total of three times. And they did not need to be blended, but were soft and creamy. Never thought to take a cooking class when on vacation, but it was wonderful to learn how to cook the traditional dishes at home!

      • Elena Paravantes RD
        May 21, 2014 at 6:39 am

        Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kate
    June 3, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for a tasty and simple fava recipe. We fell in love with fava in Paros a few years ago in a place where it is served with caramalised red onion on the top which works well. Great recipes on your site and love your photography .

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      June 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you Kate! I love the caramelized onion on top too!

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