Fava Spread

Fava Spread
Makes about 1 quart

In Greek cuisine, the term fava always refers to dried yellow split peas, not the fresh green favas used in Italian cooking. Note that this mixture always thickens as it sits. If it is too thick, return it to the food processor and stream in extra-virgin olive oil with the motor running until you reach the desired consistency. With the addition of heavy cream (water, if you’re vegan), this makes an absolutely divine split pea soup.

For the pea mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons blended oil (90 percent canola, 10 percent extra-virgin olive)
  • 10 shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 to 7 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 pound yellow split peas, well rinsed
  • 1 ½ quarts water
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pepperoncini (pickled yellow peppers), roughly chopped
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Small handful small, picked sprigs dill

Method:

  1. In a large pot, warm the blended oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, reduce the heat a little, and sweat until softened but not browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the split peas and stir for 2 minutes. Add the water, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. Cover and simmer gently until very soft but not mushy or falling apart, about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a sieve over a bowl a bowl and drain well. (Reserve all the liquid for another use.) Let stand for at least 15 minutes, to ensure all the liquid drains away. Remove the bay leaves.
  3. In a food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, lemon juice, and pepperoncini. Add about one third of the split pea mixture and pulse until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Add the dill, 1 tablespoon salt, and more cracked pepper. Pulse again to blend, then turn out into a large bowl and combine with the remaining split pea mixture. Blend with a large spatula until evenly mixed. You can store the spread in a covered, clean jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*The Wedge: Smear some fava onto a pita triangle. Top with a pinch of grated manouri, a few slivers of sun-dried tomato or dried apricots, and a sprig of dill.

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