Here’s that famous Greek fava bean recipe! This is a soft and super smooth yellow pea dip from the Greek mediterranean island of Santorini… Serve this pea dip lukewarm, sprinkle it with a fragrant olive oil and a handful of chopped onion!
I fell in love with this dip about 6 years ago.
We were visiting the glorious Greek island of Santorini in the mediterranean sea.
During our stay we tried loads of fava versions in several restaurants all over town.
And every time we would stumble upon another fava bean dip, and they all had a different twist.
I reckon that it just depends on how the chef likes his fava bean dip!
We had the best fava dip in Naoussa, a vibrant blue and white restaurant in Fira.
Why was that the best one? Just because their bean dip was lukewarm. Their creamy yellow split pea puree had the perfect texture and consistency. It was also light, sprinkled with good quality olive oil and some freshly chopped red onion. Very appetizing.
Hands down the best I have tasted in Santorini!
Easy Greek Fava Bean Recipe
Be aware though.
You can find bunches of yellow ‘fava’ beans in the tourist shops and minimarkets in Santorini. However these are not the real fava beans but simply yellow split peas. And therefore they are also extremely overpriced.
Don’t be fooled, avoid the fake merchandise!
The real fava beans are a true delicacy. They grow in Santorini’s microclimate and are almighty expensive. Why? Because the annual harvest of real fava beans is very small.
How to Make Greek Fava: A Delicious and Healthy Dip
If you are looking for a simple, tasty and nutritious dip to serve with bread, crackers or fresh vegetables, you should try Greek fava.
Despite its name, Greek fava is not made with fava beans, but with yellow split peas. It is a traditional dish from the island of Santorini, where the yellow split peas have a unique flavor and texture due to the volcanic soil.
In this blog post, I will show you how to make Greek fava in a few easy steps, using only five ingredients. You will also learn some tips and tricks to make your fava extra creamy and smooth, as well as some variations and serving suggestions.
What is Greek fava?
Greek fava (φάβα in Greek) is a puree of cooked yellow split peas, flavored with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
It has a velvety texture and a mild, slightly sweet taste. It is often garnished with chopped onion, capers, parsley or oregano. Greek fava is served as a meze (appetizer) or a side dish, usually accompanied by bread or pita. It can also be spread on sandwiches or used as a dip for raw or cooked vegetables.
Greek fava is different from hummus, which is made with chickpeas and tahini.
Hummus has a more nutty and earthy flavor, while fava has a more lemony and fresh flavor. Both dips are high in protein and fiber, but fava is lower in fat and calories than hummus.
Yellow Split Peas
You can of course use yellow split peas as a substitute for the Greek fava peas.
They are available in very larger supermarket. It is your best option if you want to make this fava dip but you can’t any real fava beans around where you live.
Do you love mediterranean Greek dishes?
Easy Greek Fava Bean Recipe
- 9 oz yellow split peas (250 g)
- a handful red onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- good quality olive oil
- 1 tbsp capers (optional)
1) Rinse the the yellow split peas a few times. Soak them in cold water for at least 5 hours (preferably overnight).
2) Bring 2 cups (480 ml) of water to a boil over high heat. Add a little pinch of salt. Drain the yellow peas and transfer them to the boiling water.
3) Once the peas are cooking turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until they start to fall apart. Add extra water if necessary.
4) Pour the cooked peas in a colander and let them drain and let them cool a bit until they are lukewarm.
5) Blend half of the cooked peas and the chopped garlic. Add a little olive oil until you get a rich, glossy but firm puree.
6) Transfer the yellow pea puree to a serving bowl. Stir in the other half of cooked peas and mix well. Season with pepper, salt and a couple of drops of vinegar to taste. Garnish with the chopped red onion, capers (optional) and sprinkle generously with olive oil. Serve lukewarm.
How to Store and Reheat Greek Fava
You can store leftover Greek fava in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can reheat it in a microwave or on a stovetop, adding some water if needed to thin it out. You can also enjoy it cold or at room temperature.
How to Freeze Greek Fava
You can freeze Greek fava in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
To thaw it, you can leave it in the refrigerator overnight or microwave it on low power until soft. You may need to add some water and stir well to restore its texture.
Variations and Substitutions for Greek Fava
You can make some variations and substitutions for Greek fava according to your taste and availability of ingredients.
Here are some ideas:
– You can use red or white onion instead of brown onion, or omit the onion altogether if you prefer a milder flavor.
– You can use more or less garlic, or replace it with garlic powder or roasted garlic for a different flavor.
– You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice, or add some vinegar for extra tanginess.
– You can use more or less olive oil, or replace it with another oil of your choice, such as sunflower, canola or coconut oil.
– You can add some herbs and spices to the fava, such as cumin, paprika, turmeric, rosemary, thyme or mint.
– You can add some other ingredients to the fava, such as roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese or yogurt.
Benefits of Greek Fava
Greek fava is not only delicious but also very healthy and nutritious.
Here are some of the benefits of eating Greek fava:
– It is high in protein and fiber, which help you feel full and satisfied for longer, and support your digestive health and blood sugar levels.
– It is low in fat and calories, which makes it a great choice for weight management and heart health.
– It is rich in iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, which are essential minerals for your blood production, energy metabolism, bone health and antioxidant defense.
– It is a good source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and helps your body absorb iron from plant sources.
– It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.