Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Greek Fava

Greek Fava

Greek fava is a wonderful twist on hummus, the better-known legume-based dip. Fava has a silky creaminess for a great mouthfeel. It’s often topped with caramelized onions and capers and served with toasted pita wedges, but I love using cucumber spears and sliced veggies for dipping.


  • 1 cup dry yellow split peas
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if desired
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Paprika (smoked if possible)
  • Optional: capers, caramelized onions and lemon wedges


Step 1

Rinse the split peas in cold water to remove any grit and drain. Transfer to a large saucepan and pour in enough stock to cover by at least an inch—start with 2.5 cups. Add half the diced onion, the garlic and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and skim off any foam that accumulates on top. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the peas reach a thick, porridge-like consistency, 30 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally and add the final half-cup of broth if all the liquid is absorbed before the peas are tender—don’t let them dry out or scorch on the bottom of the pan. 

Step 2

When the peas are done, allow them to cool. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the peas to a food processor using a slotted spoon and reserving any remaining cooking liquid in case needed. Add 5 tablespoons of the olive oil and the lemon juice and process until smooth. The consistency should be like mashed potatoes. If the mixture is too dry, add any stock that remained in the pan or a couple of tablespoons of water. Add the oregano or parsley and pulse until well distributed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Step 3

Mound the fava in a serving bowl and top with a sprinkle of paprika and the remaining diced onion and tablespoon of olive oil or more to taste. If making ahead, refrigerate and then let it come to room temperature before digging in. Garnish with capers, caramelized onions and lemon wedges as desired.

Quick Kitchen Hack: Once a week I like to make a batch of caramelized onions. Not only are they great on the fava, but they’re also delicious as a condiment or flavor booster on everything from eggs and burgers to steamed vegetables and even toast. Slice three or four large onions and sauté in 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Cook them low and slow—it could take up to an hour—until completely soft and brown, a sign that their natural sugar has been released. Finish with a splash of your favorite balsamic vinegar, pack into a glass jar, and refrigerate.

Yields 6 appetizer servings.