santorini fava

This is probably the most famous dish from the most famous Greek island, the lovely Santorini.  Most people think of Santorini as quiet and peaceful; to us, it’s busy and crazy, because it’s the large central island in the neighborhood of the tiny island where we lived.  So where most people go to Santorini to get away from it all, we went “to the city” in Santorini.

Santorini is famous, food-wise, for a few things:  yellow split peas, tomatoes, and wine are the big ones.  The most common way to prepare yellow split peas is a dish called “fava.”  Fava has nothing to do with fava beans.  It only uses yellow split peas.  (Fava beans are used very rarely in Greece, because a significant chunk of the population is allergic to them.)

This is a really quick dish to prepare if you have a pressure cooker, which, as I’ve mentioned before, you really should if you eat legumes with any regularity.

I tend to be lazy about rinsing things (rice, beans, etc.) but you  really do need to rinse yellow split peas.  They get very foamy if you don’t, and that can cause problems in the pressure cooker.

Cover them with water by about 1 cm, and add a bay leaf.  Cook under pressure for about 6 minutes.  (In my pressure cooker, as soon as it reaches pressure, I turn off the burner completely.  However, whether you can get away with that will depend on your stove.)

When you open it up, the liquid should be absorbed and the peas should be very soft.  If they look like yellow mush, that’s great.  If they still have their shape but are very soft, that’s fine too.

Add onion, garlic, Greek oregano, salt, freshly ground pepper, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

Blend with an immersion blender.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a food processor.

Serve, topping with onion cut sideways and capers, and more olive oil.

This is not the ‘restaurant-style’ fava that you may have had before.  If you want ‘restaurant-style,’ leave out the oregano and go nuts with the olive oil.

Serve with olives, bread, and maybe a little feta cheese.

Santorini Fava
serves 4 as appetizer or 2 as main dish

200g yellow split peas, well rinsed
1 dried bay leaf
1 small onion; chop 1/2, slice 1/2
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
1.5 tbsp Greek oregano
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp capers, rinsed

1.  Put the yellow split peas and the bay leaf in the pressure cooker.  Cover with water by 1 cm.  Cook under pressure for about 6 minutes.  Allow pressure to release naturally.

2. Put chopped onion, pressed garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, vinegar, and 1 tbsp olive oil into pot with peas.  Blend very thoroughly with immersion blender.

3.  Serve, topping with sliced onion, capers, and remaining olive oil.

Nutritional Information
per serving, i.e., 1/2 of the total recipe.

561 calories
22g fat (3g saturated, 19g unsaturated)
70g carbohydrate
26g protein
27g dietary fiber
0mg cholesterol
1298mg sodium (54% DV)
1212mg potassium (35% DV)
Contains a significant amount (+10% DV) of the following:
calcium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, folate, manganese, and copper.

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