The gorgeous Greek island of Santorini and fava go together like the proverbial peas and carrots which is only fitting as this delicious and silky smooth fava dip contains both. Though the peas are yellow split peas!
Why you’ll love this simple recipe
- This traditional Greek fava dip is super easy to make with just a few ingredients
- Versatitity – you can serve yellow split pea puree as an appetizer dip, a sauce, as a side dish and even watered down as a comforting soup
- Santorini fava will give you the taste of Greek sunshine no matter where you are
If you are an out and out dip fanatic like me this Santorini fava recipe will be a great addition to your reportoire of delicious dips to whip out with the crisps/chips, crusty bread and crudites too.
What is Greek fava?
Let’s clear up any confusion here right from the start. Greek fava dip is not made with fava beans/broad beans. No, this amazing puree is made with dried yellow split peas.
I was lucky enough to visit Santorini while I lived in Crete and not only is this one of the most beautiful islands in the world it also boasts some amazing food and wine.
The mineral rich volcanic soil creates the perfect grounding for vines, tomatoes and these yellow split peas which the island of Santorini is famed for.
Once a basic dish served with chunks of bread and enjoyed by hungry sishermen. This delicious golden fava dip has now found it’s way into the finest restaurants all over Greece as part of the traditional Greek mezze (small dishes of everything from octupus to dips and salads served together for sharing).
Yellow split peas are obviously the main ingredient in this fava puree and the very best come from Santorini of course. Their split peas are noticably sweeter than others and make a wonderfullly smooth puree. However, you can buy yellow split peas in most supermarkets and those will do just fine for making homemade Greek fava.
The other ingredients for fava are onion, carrot (optional but something I always add to my fava for extra flavour), garlic, bay leaves, lemon, olive oil and thyme. I also add spring onions to my fava, both in the dip itself and to scatter on top when I serve my fava.
How to make traditional Greek fava
This is such a super easy dip to make. All you have to do is thoroughly rinse the yellow split peas as this helps to reduce the frothy scum that forms on top whilst cooking.
Then chuck the onion, split peas, cattot, garlic and bay leaves into a big pot and add water.
Boil and then simmer for about 45 mnutes or until the yellow split peas have broken down and crush easily with a fork.
Then you just drain off excess water (save it), remove the bay leaves and add the spring onion, thyme and olive oil and whizz up your fava dip with a hand blender or ladle the mixture into a food processor and let it do the work.
You want to create a nice puree. I love to serve my fava in the traditional greek way, silky smooth with a velvety consistancy. However some folks prefer to have a bit of texture in their dip so don’t puree the fava till completely smooth.
Use the reserved water you drained from cooking the fava to loosen the puree if you want to.
It’s entirely up to you how smooth you want this split pea puree to be. Finish it off by serving your fava dip in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh thyme and more spring onions and a good drizzle of olive oil.
Toppings for fava
I like to top my dip with more finely chopped spring onions, olive oil and fresh thyme but there are other options too.
Olive oil is a must for topping your fava dip. Not only does the oil add more taste and silkiness to the puree, it also stops the fava from drying out on the table.
You can add a sprinkling of paprika to your fava. Some chopped olives, Greek dried oregano, crispy fried onions or extra lemon to squeeze over this delicious split pea puree.
How much does this recipe make
You get a lot of fava from this recipe, approximately 900g. This makes enough for about 4 bowls of dip which would easily serve up to 6 or more people.
I make this quantity and then freeze half of it to enjoy later.
Create a traditional Greek mezze platter by serving your fava dip alongside tzatziki, taramasalata and skordalia, a traditional Greek salad (horiatiki) and all sorts of other delicious Greek specialities.
Serve this traditional Greek fava with petals of red onion to scoop it up as they often do in Santorini itself.
You can serve this delicious yellow split pea puree just as you would hummus. I like to use my fava as a base for this amazing minced beef and courgettes/zucchini dish.
Serve with crusty bread, pittas, raw veggies or crisps/chips as the perfect dip at any time.
Turn your fava into a deliciously silky soup. Just add either chicken or vegetable stock and stir through as you heat it up.
Your fava dip will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge. But this split pea puree is perfect for freezing too. Just freeze the fava in small portions for up to 3 months and defrost thoroughly before serving.
Looking for more fabulous Greek recipes to try? Then why not head over to my Greek Recipes Section or take a look at some of these before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Greek Santorini Fava Dip (Yellow Split Pea Puree)
- 500 g yellow split peas
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 2 small carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 lt water
- 1 lemon juice only
- 6 spring onions finely chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 150 ml olive oil
- Thoroughly rinse the yellow split peas under cold running water
- put the split peas in a large pan with the onion, garlic, carrot and bay leaves and cover with water
- bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes till the slipt peas have sogtened
- drain and reserve liquid to use to loosen the fava if you need to, remove bay leaves and add lemon juice, most of the olive oil, most of the spring onions and season well with salt and pepper
- use a stick blender to blitz to a smooth silky puree and add some of the reserved cooking water if you want to to loosen the puree
- serve in bowls with s drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and extra chopped spring onions