Yellow split peas (some refer to them as lentils too) are called “fava” in Greek, but they have nothing to do with what Americans call “fava bean”. The dish of “fava” is mashed yellow split peas, which kind of resembles the Indian daal (though not spicy), and is most often topped with raw olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped onions and parsley, but there are certain variations from region to region. Some top it with caramelized onions, others with capers or olives, others with pomegranates or nuts, you can just improvise! Apart from being really tasty it is also very-very nutritious. It is usually served as an appetizer or a side dish, either warm or cold. I even enjoy it, quite often, warm as a main dish, accompanied by boiled greens and vegetables, especially beetroots, and beautiful salads!
Here is the recipe:
500 gr. "fava" (yellow split peas)
2 medium sized onions cut in chunks (plus extra chopped or sliced onion to serve)
1 large stalk fresh rosemary (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to serve)
1 ½ liters of water
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon capers
Rinse the split peas well and let them soak in water for about 30-40 minutes. Strain and put aside. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat and lightly sauté the rosemary with onions until soft. Add the split peas and stir.
Add the water, remove the rosemary stalk, cover and allow it to simmer for about 40 minutes, or until soft (in the meanwhile, you might need to check every now and then, if you need to add a little extra water, but don’t overdo it cause the whole point is to allow it to absorb all the water while it’s getting soft and mushy). Just before ready, add the salt and stir well. Remove it from the heat, and mush it using a food processor, or a stick hand blender, until smooth and creamy.
At this point I usually add the juice of half a lemon, mix it well until incorporated, and leave the rest of the juice for when I serve it, but you may just leave the lemon for the end. You may serve it immediately while still warm, or you may allow it to cool down, refrigerate it and serve it cold. Serve in a plate, top it with sliced or chopped onion, parsley, capers, add the cayenne pepper, olive oil and lemon juice and enjoy!!!