On our honeymoon in Greece, Andrew and I loved the fava dip that appeared in almost every restaurant we visited. It’s a dip made not of the green fava beans that you might be thinking of, but with small yellow split peas, called fava in Greek. We sampled this dish at many restaurants and our favorite by far was at Mani Mani in Athens, where it was topped not with the typical raw red onion and capers, but with caramelized onions and slices of louza, a traditional cured pork. (Read all about our Athens experience here!) I’ve tried to recreate the recipe here with ingredients that are easier to find in the U.S. and I think it’s practically as good as what we tried in Athens. If you can find Greek favas, feel free to use them here and reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes or so since they are smaller and will cook faster than yellow split peas.
I served this at a dinner party a few months ago and it ended up being the crowd favorite of the evening. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Yellow Split Pea Dip with Caramelized Onions & Spanish Chorizo
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for serving if desired
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oz Spanish chorizo, casing removed, sausage coarsely chopped
- fresh parsley or thyme (optional)
- Make the caramelized onions. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced medium onion and sugar, stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minuets or so, until onions are caramelized and brown. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Make the dip. In a heavy sauce pan, combine split peas, onions, and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally until split peas and onions are completely soft and falling apart, about one-and-a-half hours. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, stir, and simmer, uncovered, for five minutes (longer if the split peas are very liquidy). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Using a blender or immersion blender, purée until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat renders and sausage has crisped, about five minutes. To serve, transfer split pea dip to a serving bowl and top with caramelized onions, chorizo, and oil rendered from the chorizo. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired and top with fresh parsley or thyme (optional). Serve with bread or pita.
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