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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fava (Φάβα)

How can such a simple dish arouse so much adulation?

Fava looks like gruel, but it is actually a tasty sweet dip-like main meal in Greece. Split yellow peas are boiled up with onion, some salt and a little olive oil, till they are turned into a pulp.

The pulp is usually placed in some kind of blender to produce a smooth creamy texture. But the taste remains the same, so I have dropped this step over the years, and I serve it rough, without pureeing it.

The typical Greek way to eat fava is to dress it with chopped onion and olive oil. It is served with slices of bread and maybe some cheese, boiled egg or olives - and if you are lucky, some little fried fish.

But vegetarians and vegans alike can dress up their dish as creatively as they like. I added some chopped parsley and some sliced peppers to my serving of fava. Other choices include sliced beets, carrots, celery sticks, and any other crunchy vegetables that you enjoy eating.

I noticed that there was not enough bread in the house when I made the fava, so I had mine with some paximadi, double-baked dry rusk that has been made in Greece since ancient times.

I've made fava many times and have blogged about it considerably, but every time I make fava, it looks so much better than the last time I made it, and I can't help taking new photographs. Fava shows the vegetarian nature of Greek cuisine and how colourful and nutritious a simple vegetarian meal can be.

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