Greece is such a beautiful country and the food is absolutely delicious! It was very easy to eat vegan for the week there. We ate greek salads minus the feta, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed tomatoes, and lots of goodies we purchased at Bamboo Vegan, a wonderful vegan shop in Athens. Our favorite culinary find in Greece was fava. Fava is a savory dip that rivals hummus for my affections! It is not, as we first thought, made from fava beans, but is actually made from yellow split peas. Like hummus, it is extremely flavorful and creamy, yet unlike hummus, it is best served warm or at room temperature. My whole family loved it, which is why I asked for the recipe everywhere we went. Our favorite fava was made as part of a wonderful vegan meal, cooked just for us, at Kalestesia Suites on the magnificent island of Santorini. We owe many thanks to their chef, Victoria, and maitre d, Yiannis, who took incredible care of us. We had a fantastic dinner in the cozy basement wine cellar. Here is their recipe, which although the ingredients are correct, may have a few slight adjustments since I was unable to read the exact measurements on the handwritten recipe they so kindly gave to me.
- 2 1/2 cups yellow split peas
- 5 cups water
- 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
for the topping –
- 2 3.5 oz jars capers
- 1 small onion
- 1 T olive oil
Bring water, peas and onion to a boil in a large pot. Lower heat a bit to keep at a slow boil for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer an hour longer, stirring occasionally. Drain, but reserve 1/4 cup liquid. Return to pot. Add olive oil and cook a few minutes over low heat, stirring. Add salt, pepper and lemon and either puree with an immersion blender or pour into a food processor or blender to puree. Add reserved liquid, 1 T at a time, if the fava is too thick. It should be the consistency of a thin hummus.
For the topping, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
Add the capers and heat through.
Spoon over the fava dip.
Enjoy with pita bread, crudite, crackers, or on its own.