Derika and I spent our ten year anniversary in Santorini Greece in July of 2014. Both of us have always wanted to go to Santorini, so we decided that our ten year anniversary was the perfect time to make the trip. We had such an amazing time; you can read about our adventures here and you can check out some of our favorite places to eat here. Santorini is famous, food-wise, for a few things: yellow split peas, tomatoes, and wine to name a few. The white wine grapes are called Assyrtiko, and you can see them growing all over the island.
The most common way to prepare Santorini’s yellow split peas is in a dish called “fava.” Fava has nothing to do with fava beans. It only uses Santorini yellow split peas. (Fava beans are used very rarely in Greece, because a significant chunk of the population is allergic to them.)
As for the Santorini tomatoes, you will find them in all of the salads, and see them growing all over the island. I actually think that they are the best tomatoes that I have ever had.
Derika and I fell in love with the fava bean hummus and we ended up eating it at almost every sit down meal that we had. I loved it so much; that I actually bought some dried fava beans from a street vendor so that I could make it when I got home. These beans look a lot like red lentils when they are dried, and I’d suggest using red lentils for this recipe if you can’t find Santorini fava beans in the States. The locals prepare the fava beans into a paste like hummus. It is served warm at meals, or cold as a snack with bread. It is really quite delicious, especially when you top it with crispy capers, diced red onion and a squeeze of lemon!
- 1 C Dried Santorini Fava Beans (or Dried Red Lentils)
- 3 C Water
- 1 Small Red Onion, finely diced
- 1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 C Olive Oil
- 1 TBS Capers, drained
- Lemon, 1 Slice
- White pepper, to taste
- Rinse your dried fava beans (or lentils) until the water runs clear.
- Add the fava beans to a large pot along with 3 cups water, 3/4 of the red onion, the apple cider vinegar, and salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and skim off any white foam that forms on top.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 60 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through and the mixture has formed a creamy paste. Feel free to add more water while cooking if needed.
- While your hummus is cooking, add 1 tsp. of olive oil to a frying pan, heat it up and then add the capers to the oil. Saute the caper for 5-7 minutes until they are a bit crispy. Set aside.
- Once the beans are done simmering, whisk the olive oil into the beans until you get a smoother consistency. I whisked my hummus instead of running it through a food processor, because I like it a bit chunkier. Feel free to run it though a food processor if you would like it smoother.
- Let your hummus cool off for about 30 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Transfer the warm finished fava bean hummus to a plate.
- Top it with a drizzle of olive oil, the fried capers and the rest of the diced red onion.
I really liked making this traditional dish and found it a wonderful alternative to basic hummus. It is definitely something I’ll keep in my repertoire when I am making Greek or Middle Eastern food at home. It is a great high-protein meal that is vegan and gluten-free!