A split pea side dish that’s also a vegan main entrée – it’s this surprise called Fava. The pools of lemon juice and Greek olive oil give you a visible idea of the flavor profile here, then you add those yummy capers.
Our Greek cooking class teacher, Diane, had an interesting technique for onions and shallots – she grates them. The flavors are released when you slice through cells of these veggies, and grating does a nifty trick of it, unlike cutting which doesn’t get them all. Cool, right?
The lemon juice and capers are the kicker – pungent! Split peas, by their very nature, are not so flavorful without something dramatic like this. Accompanied by a slice of feta and Greek olives, heaven. More?? A side of cooked brown rice and a Greek salad… filling, flavorful and really CHEAP. Our lovely fish-shaped platter is a favorite vacation memento from Barbados, in case you are wondering. We saw plenty of these in the arms of sun-kissed travelers while at the airport.
This Fava recipe comes to you courtesy of Diane Moutsopoulos. Like the idea of a Greek cooking class in your LA-area home? CONTACT: Diana Moutsopoulos, email@example.com, 310-486-1589
Fava ~ Yellow Split Pea Puree
3 cups yellow split peas
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, grated (or 1/2 red onion)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Fresh lemon juice
Dried Greek oregano
Chopped green onion
- Olive oil for drizzling
Place the split peas and bay leaf in a large pot. Cover generously with water (by a few inches). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the split peas are soft and the liquid has reduced to leave a thick “porridge.” (Use a potato masher to achieve a smoother consistency if needed.)
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the grated shallot or onion. Cook gently until soft and almost caramelized. About 20 minutes before the split peas have finished cooking, add the shallots to pot along with the salt.
To serve, spread fava onto each plate about 1 inch thick. Using the back of a spoon, create little “furrows” (to catch the olive oil and lemon juice). Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice; sprinkle with oregano, capers and chopped green onion. Ad a twist or two of freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Tips: for a richer dish, puree the split peas with an immersion blender while adding a steady stream of olive oil (use about 3/4 cup olive oil).