That’s in quotation marks because it’s what I uncontrollably say out loud every time I see this dish.
For a small welcome-home shindig my parents and I hosted this week, we made up a menu of classic American grill food and Greek sides:
- The classic hamburger/cheeseburger
- That dynamite watermelon, feta and arugula salad
- Our old family favorite for Greek dinners–Artichokes & Rice, from Mani
- Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) triangles (recipe coming to a post near you!)
- Greek fava(aaaaa!) dip
- And for dessert, Greek yogurt with honey… but my mom made a gorgeous strawberry & blueberry tart, and my friends brought cupcakes and Rocky Road bars (oh, how I missed my friends!), so the Greek yogurt was entirely forgotten about until a later date. Whoops.
A good time was had by all! (Especially our golden retriever, who not only loves all people, but frisbee-whores herself out to any and all men who come to our house with disgusting shamelessness. It would be embarrassing if she wasn’t so cute.)
I also came up with two Greece-related quizzes to play. The winners each received some Greek music. Feel free to print them out & test yourselves! 🙂
To no one’s surprise, everyone loved the Greek dishes. In fact, my pictures of them for this post and the upcoming spanakopita post are less than ideal, because I couldn’t even get to them for their close-up before they were almost all gone!
Up next will be the spanakopita triangles recipe, but for now, here’s the deal with favaaaaaaa!
(Just wait til you taste it. You’ll be yelling about it too.)
So, what is this fava of which I’m so triumphantly yelling? Vicia faba is a species of bean known as the broad bean. That’s not what we’re talking about. The Greek word Φάβα (fava) refers to green and yellow split peas. Greeks puree them into a scrumptious, healthy dip, eaten by itself or with bread. This recipe is a regional specialty of Santorini.
It’s so easy and so delicious, I now think of it as the perfect party appetizer! We served ours with pita bread, but you could get creative and serve it any number of other ways.
Φάβα – Fava Puree
1/2 pound yellow or green split peas, rinsed
5 cups water
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
In a saucepan, combine rinsed split peas and water, and season with salt and pepper. After bringing the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the saucepan, and let it cook down until the peas have disintegrated into a puree. You may need to add more water during the cooking process, and you will definitely need to stir the mixture every now and then. Once the peas have cooked down, take the pot off the heat and cover it with a cloth for around twenty minutes. Mix in some olive oil (perhaps a quarter cup or so), top with chopped red onion and serve.
If you have trouble finding split peas, look for yellow daal in the Indian section of your grocery store.
And with that, καλή όρεξη! (Bon appetit! We really need a good English equivalent for that. Any suggestions?) Stay tuned for a post with the recipe we used for spanakopita triangles!
Ciao for niao,