This combination of split peas and caramelized onions is a nouvelle Greek cuisine invention. The Greek name for split-peas is fava, which has nothing to do with fava beans (which in Greek are called koukia). It’s probably all Greek to you anyway, but do go ahead and make this recipe, because it tastes so darn good!
Split peas, which in Greece are the most common colour , are usually eaten pureed and topped with slithers of red raw onions, lemon juice and olive oil. The most famous fava comes from the beautiful island of Santorini and it is a DOP product, but good fava is produced i many areas of mainland Greece and the islands. IF you try this recipe, it woud be great to use Greek yellow split peas, to support the greek farming community.
You can use up any caramelized onions by spreading a thick layer of soft goat’s cheese on toasted bread and topping it with onions. A match made in heaven!
Lets go have a look at the recipe:
Greek yellow split peas with caramelized onions
INGREDIENTS for 6 people
- 500gr yellow split peas, preferably Greek
- 2 onions, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- olive oil, salt, pepper
for the caramelized onions
- 1kg of onions, finely sliced
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 70ml raspberry balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 allspice berries
- 1 tsp of dried rosemary or dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary/thyme
- some caper berries for serving (optional)
- Rinse the split peas a couple of times.
- Fill a large pan with enough water to cover the peas and bring to the boil.
- Remove the scum and add 1 chopped onion, 2 tbsp of olive oil and some salt.
- Simmer for about 1 hour or until the peas have softened and turned into mush. Be careful not to let them dry up. So do add a little water from time to time, otherwise they will stick to the bottom of the pan.
- When they are ready, process in a blender together (or with an immmersion blender) together with some lemon and olive oil, until you get a homogenous mix. Season well. The consistency should be reminiscent of mashed potatoes, perhaps slightly more runny. Whne I am feeling fancy, I pass the fava through a fine sieve to get a velvet texture.
- While the peas are cooking make the caramelized onions.
- In a large pot heat the olive oil and saute the onions over medium heat until they start to colour.
- Add the sugar, stir well to incorporate, add the berries, bay leaf and rosemary/thyme and then pour in the vinegar.
- Simmer gently for30 minutes, stirring occasionally as the onions do tend to stick to the bottom, until you get a nice dark caramel-brown colour. Remove the bay leaf and allspice and put in a clean jar. Refridgerate unitl needed.
- Place 3-4 tbsp of peas puree on a plate, add some lemon juice, top with the onions and some capers and smother in olive oil. Enjoy as a meze with loads of bread.