Cookery writer, teacher and author of Pulse, Jenny Chandler gave a demonstration of this classic Greek dish at our 2018 Grand Dal Finale. Confusingly made not with fava beans but with split yellow peas – or most traditionally in Greece with grass peas.
Photo courtesy Jenny Chandler
- 200g / 7oz yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
- A few very finely sliced pieces of red onion.
- Place the split peas, bay leaves, the onion and enough cold water to cover everything by a couple of cm in a saucepan. Bring the water up to the boil skimming away any scum or froth.
- Now simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring from time to time and, if necessary, adding a little extra water to keep the peas just covered.
- Add the salt and continue to simmer until the beans are very tender and almost dry.
- Remove the bay leaves and allow the split peas to cool for a few minutes before you puree them with a hand held blender or in a food processor.
- Don’t worry, the peas will taste bland and flabby, they will be screaming for seasoning. Add the garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper and more salt, if required, until you have a wonderfully balanced puree.
- Spoon into a bowl and allow to cool completely, letting the flavours get to know each other.
- Serve with a sprinkling of capers, the parsley, red onion and a splash of extra virgin oil.
Try topping the fava with any combination of the following:
- Chopped fresh oregano, coriander or parsley
- A few chopped Kalamata olives,
- Diced tomato and a handful of rocket.
- A sprinkling of roasted cumin seeds and sweet Aleppo or Urfi chilli flakes