5 Ingredients or Fewer

Fava (Greek Yellow Split Pea Dip)

January  4, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 4 as an appetizer
Author Notes

Greece can be a tricky place to visit as a vegetarian. They are, after all, famous for their lamb gyros and meaty moussaka and grilled fish. So when I visited Greece last year I subsisted chiefly on dips: tzatziki, feta cheese dip, and, my personal favorite, fava. Actually made from yellow split peas (and not fava beans), this dip is incredibly simple and yet somehow I could not stop eating it. I ordered it at every taverna I came across, and it was always delicious: smooth, creamy, and satisfying—especially when served with homemade flatbread. Don't skip out on the toppings; the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and raw red onion really liven up the purée. —Catherine Lamb

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 red onion; half minced, the other half peeled but left whole
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving (use the nice stuff)
  • Paprika, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Parsley, for serving
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Place split peas in a pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Turn down the heat until the mixture bubbles only occasionally, then add the peeled half of the onion, the garlic, and the salt. Cook until split peas are very tender and mushy, just over an hour.
  2. When the peas are beginning to fall apart, turn off the heat, taste, and add more salt if necessary. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a few turns of black pepper. Use an immersion blender (or tabletop blender) to purée mixture to desired smoothness (I like mine still a little chunky), or just use the back of your spoon if you're feeling lazy. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or two more, until quite thick.
  3. To serve: Spoon the fava onto a plate, top with a generous drizzle of olive oil, the diced red onion, a sprinkle of paprika, chopped parsley, and a few lemon wedges. Provide fresh pita, toasted bread, and/or vegetables for dipping.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • NancyMA
  • Rena
  • RealPersonFakeUser
  • Trish

5 Reviews

Rena April 29, 2020
This is not really a review, but rather a clarification to a note in the beginning of this recipe. Greece is one of the greatest places to go as a vegetarian and even a vegan. As part of the Greek Orthodox religion, the faithful are traditionally following what is essentially a vegan diet for almost 80 days per year. There is an EXPANSIVE repertoire of vegan And vegetarian recipes, including ways to adapt Non vegan recipes to make them vegan etc. Greece is a vegetarian utopia!
RealPersonFakeUser February 7, 2020
When cooking I also add two bay leaves, if you're into that.

The suggested toppings are good but I also add Kalamata olive rings and thin slices of Anaheim pepper. I ate this at a restaurant a few times and it was good. In Greece I also saw this was served with capers (I'm not a fan, but maybe you are).
NancyMA June 22, 2018
How far in advance can this be made ahead?
RealPersonFakeUser February 7, 2020
I had this two days after making it. However, I don't know how long this stays safe to eat.

I made the amount listed in the recipe, ate half of it immediately and put the other half in the fridge (no toppings and after it cooled down a little). After two days I took it out of the fridge about half an hour before serving, but since it gets a little thick I added a little hot water and mixed it with a fork. Go easy on the water and just add again and mix until you reach desired consistency. I've done this many times.
Trish January 22, 2018
Thank you for this. Thanks for vegetarian recipes. 😊