Santorini Fava, also called Greek Fava, is a simple, healthy, and delicious Greek appetizer. This dish is not famous outside Greece, but it is incredibly popular in Greece, and an essential part of Meze: the famous selection of small plates shared during the traditional Greek meal. The yellow peas are cooked along with onions, garlic, and fresh herbs, then mashed until smooth and silky: so tasty!
- 1 Lb Greek split yellow pea (450 g)
- 1 red onion
- 4 pearl mini red onions (alternatively, 1/2 red onions)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs oregano
- 2 organic lemons
- 12 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 dash black pepper
- to taste table salt
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THE ORIGIN OF GREEK FAVA
Despite the name, the Greek Fava is a yellow pea, not to be confused with fava bean.
This legume is consumed and appreciated since the Neolithic, thanks to its nutrition proprieties: yellow peas are rich in protein and acid folic.
Sure enough, the most popular and exquisite Greek Fava originates from the island of Santorini.
Santorini Fava is sweeter on taste and more delicate than the ordinary Greek Fava, but with a salty note given from the Aegean sea surrounding the Cyclades Island.
Besides Santorini Fava, another variety of yellow pea particularly appreciated by the Greeks is Feneos Fava, cultivated on the mainland.
Santorini Fava puree is one of the most traditional recipes served during the Meze: the traditional Greek appetizer selection, composed by at least 10 famous small plates like Melitzanosalata, Gemista, Dolmades, Fasolakia, or Skordalia.
Meze is more than a typical way to serve food. Meze embodies the will and joy of sharing food with friends and relatives!
GREEK FAVA TOPPINGS AND PAIRINGS
The Santorini Fava is commonly garnished with some toppings. The most typical are raw red onions, thinly sliced, and capers.
A generous splash of Extra-virgin olive oil before serving its traditionally mandatory.
Other delicious toppings are baked cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, or caramelized onions.
Another delicious option to enrich Greek Fava is dried fruit, like crumbled almonds.
The Fava puree is often served along with fish and seafood, particularly roasted octopus, marinated sardines, or smoked mackerel.
I also love to serve Fava aside roasted lamb and other grilled meats.
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS
ONIONS AND OTHER VEGETABLES – Usually, the red onion is used in two different ways: sautéed and cooked along with Fava and raw as a topping. Personally, I love to finish my recipe with sliced pearl red onions, smaller and sweeter than the usual red onions.
Even if commonly the only vegetables cooked along with Fava are onions and garlic, some chefs love to add carrots to have a sweeter taste.
FRESH HERBS – Fava recipe requires a varied selection of herbs to have different notes and flavors. I suggest using fresh herbs when it’s possible!
LEMON OR VINEGAR – Lemon is another critical ingredient of Santorini Fava. I love to add both juice and the grated skin at the end, far from the heat. Even if, for this recipe, I prefer the taste of the lemon, vinegar is a traditional and excellent substitute for lemon.
OLIVE OIL – In this recipe, olive oil is one of the protagonists, and its taste determinates the outcome of the dish. So, I suggest choosing the best quality of extra-virgin olive oil you can find.
ONIONS AND GARLIC
SANTORINI FAVA PUREE
GARNISH AND SERVING
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 467Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 34gCholesterol 0mgSodium 154mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 5gSugar 11gProtein 3g