Greek fava dip is a delicious traditional recipe made from yellow split peas. Smooth, creamy, and satisfying it is topped with roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Serve with homemade flatbread and lemon wedges and you will not stop eating it.
If you love this Greek fava dip, you will also love tzatziki, the fried halloumi and tomato toast or the spicy red pepper tomato relish!
Why this recipe sings
Greek fava dip is a beloved appetizer made from mashed yellow split peas. In the traditional recipe, the yellow split peas are the seeds of Lathyrus clymenum L., a flowering plant grown on Santorini and seven more of the Cycladic islands in the South Aegean Sea. From seeding to packaging, all stages of production take place on the islands, using local methods that began a millennia ago.
The yellow split peas when cooked get a velvety texture and sweet taste. Traditionally they are eaten as a salad/dip with extra virgin olive oil and chopped red onions.
In this recipe fava is topped with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and lots of lemon juice. The velvety fava dip is perfectly paired with sweet, tangy tomatoes and caramelized onions. The lemon gives brightness and acid for a great balance of flavors.
Here is what you need
- Yellow split peas. The best peas for Greek fava dip come from the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean sea. Unfortunately, they are expensive and rare to find even in Greece. I like the Santorini yellow split peas. You can purchase them on Amazon or Greek grocers in your area. Try to use the best quality you can find within your budget. Yellow split peas are used in Indian cuisine for dal and other recipes. They call them split pigeon peas. Regular green split peas are used in Greece to make green fava.
- Onions. One onion is used for cooking the fava and a couple are sliced thin to caramelize in olive oil for serving.
- Lemons. Lemon juice is used in abundance both in making fava and serving it.
- Carrot. It goes in the stockpot with the yellow split peas and onion.
- Extra virgin olive oil. It is found in abundance in this recipe.
- Cherry tomatoes. You can also roast small Campari tomatoes, sugar bombs, grape tomatoes, or even multi-colored minis.
- Garlic, white wine vinegar, and brown sugar. For dressing the cherry tomatoes before roasting.
- Cinnamon. The onions are seasoned with cinnamon and sea salt and caramelize in the pan.
- Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and dry oregano.
Here is how you make it
Put the yellow split peas in a strainer and rinse them well with cold water.
Place into a stockpot, add 3.5 cups / 850 ml of water, and place on high heat for about 5 minutes until it starts to boil.
Lower heat and skim the fava beans with a slotted spoon for about 5 - 10 minutes until the foaming slows down considerably.
Add the carrot and onion, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, until the peas are mushy and all the water is absorbed.
Remove from heat and discard the carrot and onion. Add sea salt and pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix with a wooden spoon until peas are mashed and creamy. You can use a food processor or hand blender for a smoother, creamier texture.
Preheat the oven to 180°C
In a medium bowl, mix the cherry tomatoes with the brown sugar, garlic, wine vinegar, dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour into a baking pan and spread them in a single layer. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until they are soft. Remove from the oven and discard the garlic
Cut the onions into thin slices. Place a medium frying pan on low to medium heat, add onions, sea salt, cinnamon, and extra virgin olive oil, and sauté, often stirring, for about 30 minutes, until onions are soft and caramelized.
Transfer the fava to a serving plate, place some of the roasted cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions on top, and serve with crusty bread, cut-up pita bread, or crackers.
Tips and trivia
- This Greek fava dip traditionally is served with lots of chopped onion on top, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Often olives are served with fava.
- It is a staple dish of the Cycladic islands. It is cooked every Wednesday without fail. When fava is served with the roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions, it is usually the next day and they call it "married fava" (pantremeni fava).
- Store it in a glass container. Fava tends to absord odors from plastic so glass is always better.
- Cover it with film while it is warm avoid the thicker texture that might formon top.
- Fava is served family style on the tables with other dishes. It is enjoyed in room temperature and great next to smoked mackerel, grilled sardines, marinated gavros, seafood, crunchy eggplant, stuffed zucchini flowers etc.
Check out my Greek pantry staples
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Greek Fava Dip With Roasted Tomatoes and Onions￼
For the fava dip
- 1 cup yellow split peas 250 grams
- 1 onion cut in half
- 1 medium carrot cleaned
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes about 250 grams
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
For the onions
- 3 red onions sliced
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- Put the yellow split peas in a strainer and rinse them well with cold water.
- Place peas into a stockpot, add 3.5 cups / 850 ml of water and place on high heat for about 5 minutes, until the liquids start to boil.
- Lower heat and skim the fava beans with a slotted spoon for about 5 - 10 minutes, until the foam stops.
- Add the carrot and onion, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 50-60 minutes, until the peas are mushy and all the water is absorbed.
- Remove from heat. Discard the carrot and onion. Add salt and pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix with a wooden spoon until peas are mashed and creamy. You can use a food processor or hand blender for a smoother, creamier texture.
Make the tomatoes and onions
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- In a bowl, mix 250 gr. cherry tomatoes, with two teaspoons brown sugar, three cloves of garlic, two tablespoons wine vinegar, one teaspoon dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour into a baking pan and spread them in a single layer. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until they are soft. Remove from the oven and discard the garlic.
- Cut three onions into thin slices.Place a medium frying pan on low to medium heat. Add onions, sea salt, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and 40 ml of olive oil and saute, often stirring, for about 30 minutes, until soft and caramelized.
- Pour the fava on a serving plate, place the roasted cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions on top, and serve.