Many cultures have their own special version of puréed beans or legumes: Israel (and many other countries) claim hummus, India has dal, Morocco has Bissara, etc., etc. So how to describe this Greek version? Well, It’s sort of similar to hummus, the bean purée most Americans are most used to, but it actually uses yellow split peas, not garbanzo beans. Just to make things seem more complicated than they really are, this dip is known as fava in Greece. But no, there aren’t any fava beans in there.
Rather than being served as a dip, this puree is generally served as a side to meat, fish or vegetable dishes. I particularly liked it as a side to chicken souvlaki (recipe to come later this week). Healthy, creamy, comfort food at its best.
Greek Yellow Split Pea Purée- Fava
* 1-1/4 cups dried yellow split peas
* 3 shallots, diced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
* 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* salt and pepper
* chopped fresh oregano, to serve
Rinse the split peas and put in a large saucepan and over with several inches of cold water. Bring to a boil on the stove top, and then reduce heat and simmer, skimming if necessary, until the peas are very soft.
While the peas are cooking, heat one Tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute the shallots and garlic until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
Drain the cooked peas, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the peas to a food processor or high speed blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec. Add the shallots, garlic and any of the cooking oil. Also add the remaining olive oil. and lemon juice and process until smooth. Add a little of the reserved bean liquid if you’d like a thinner consistency.
Add the green onions, thyme and stir by hand. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a bowl and top with oregano and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired.