I’m currently on holidays, lying on the beaches of Vanuatu (it’s tough, I know but someone has to do it!) so I’ve asked some of my favourite bloggers to share a post with you while I’m away. Today’s post comes from the wonderful Lisa who has the most beautiful greek vegetarian food blog. I’m so excited she’s here to share a recipe today!
Hello everyone! My name is Lisa, from the food blog Greek Vegetarian, and I’m very excited today to be writing a guest post for Liz’s fabulous I Spy Plum Pie blog while she enjoys a well-deserved break in Vanuatu. Oh how exotic!
My partner Tony and I will also be heading off on an island holiday later this year, to a very special place called Limnos where my dad’s family is from. We are very lucky to have access to the family house for accommodation, and we can’t wait to enjoy the quiet lifestyle on this low-key Greek island for a few weeks.
Far from being a party island, Limnos is one of the very few locations in the Mediterranean that hasn’t been overrun by tourists and still retains many traditional aspects. The beaches are lined with rows of alfresco tavernas serving up home-cooked dishes using local produce. Summer nights in Limnos are warm and balmy and watching the sun set from your table by the sea is something to treasure.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more heavenly, the menus at Limnian eateries are adorned with endless vegetarian options including one of my favourite dishes, Fava.
Not to be confused with the fava bean, “fava” is the Greek name given to this delicious dish that is simply a beautifully presented bowl of pureed yellow split peas.
One lovely little family-owned taverna called “Sinialo” prepares the best home-made fava I’ve ever tasted. Usually eaten spread over crusty bread, their fava is so flavoursome I eat it by the spoonful straight from the bowl. How can the flavour of split peas be so vastly different to the ones I cook at home? I’ve been trying to figure that out for many years now. But after much experimentation and research, I think I’ve finally got it!
The secret to good fava is to boil large pieces of onion, celery and carrot with the split peas, then add just the right amount of olive oil, salt and lemon juice to taste. As taste can be so subjective, I don’t give quantities in the recipe below for the latter two flavours. It’s best if you taste as you go and make adjustments to your liking.
Fava can been enjoyed warm or cold and keeps in the fridge for about a week. It can also be diluted with a small amount of water to make a soup.
I’m sure Liz won’t be souping anything right now. More like lying on a banana lounge under palm trees sipping pina colada. But while Liz is being waited on by Ketut, we can take comfort dipping crusty bread into our delicious home-made fava.
Fava (Yellow Split Pea Puree)
Makes about 3 cups
1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
1 carrot cut in half
1 small onion cut in half
1 stick of celery cut in half
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Finely chopped Spanish onion and parsley to garnish
- Place split peas in a heavy-based pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. While simmering, skim surface with a spoon to remove any froth. Simmer for 5 minutes then drain and rinse well.
- Place drained split peas back into pot and add 2 cups of water, carrot, onion and celery pieces and bring to the boil. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for around 30 minutes.
- Stir and replace lid, leaving it slightly off the pot to allow some steam to escape. Simmer for another 45 minutes until the split peas are almost dissolved. The consistency should be a little like mushy dhal.
- Remove carrot and celery pieces, leaving onion in the pot with the split peas.
- Puree the mixture in the pot using a stick blender until smooth, or empty mixture into a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
- Check the flavour and add salt and lemon juice as required. Trust me, these flavours are soooo important so season well.
- Allow to cool a little, then transfer to a serving dish and try to create a nice swirl over the surface to pretty it up. Top with finely chopped Spanish onion and parsley and drizzle with more olive oil.
The fava will thicken on standing, and will thicken more after refrigeration.