After 3 weeks in Greece, it remains a mystery to me why the Greek dish called "Fava" is not based on fava beans. I adore fava beans and was excited to order it the first time we saw it on the menu in a tiny beach town taverna on the north coast of Lesvos. We were served a plate of mashed beans..delicious but bright yellow in color. Huh? What did they do to fava beans to make them bright yellow? Well, I had not done my research. A couple days later reading through my notes on Greek food I saw that "Fava" was actually mashed, seasoned yellow split peas.
So as soon as I returned home I had to try to remake Fava. Luckily, I had yellow split peas on hand due to my recent preoccupation with Indian food. Here is my attempt to recreate Greek Fava loosely based on a recipe from Diana Kochilas' interesting book "The Glorious Food of Greece". I recommend this book highly for reading purposes but it is not easy to cook from for me. It's organized by region which means that all the different courses are mixed up. I can't just pick up the book and look in one section for lamb recipes. I prefer books that are organized by course when it comes to cooking. Reading is a different matter, though.
So here is the recipe I made and it was delicious:
1 red onion, minced
1 c. yellow split peas
1 t Greek oregano
Red wine vinegar to taste
S & P to taste
Saute onion in a smallish stockpot in EVOO. Add peas, toss around til coated, then add water to cover peas and bay by about an inch and simmer til done. The idea is to cook the peas til they completely fall apart and absorb all the water so be careful with the water. It will take about 1- 1 1/2 hrs for the peas to totally break down. Stir often and keep a close watch and add more water if needed to prevent sticking. When almost done stir in oregano and S & P. When done add vinegar to taste. Then let sit til cool. Peas will become very thick. Scoop into a shallow bowl. Scatter scallions on top. Serve with warm pita or pita chips to scoop. Opa!