Santorini, with its anhydrous volcanic land, has a very limited production of food. Trees do not thrive in this soil. The few products that do grow though, are characterized by their dense flavor, from the grapes in the vineyards, to the white eggplant and cherry tomatoes. One of these unique products is the fava beans. Fava is yellow split peas and is prepared like a pure. Traditionally, it is served with olive oil, or “married” with red onion. Chefs in Santorini have also served it topped with capers, octopus, and sausage.
But let’s get away from the well-known and established fava dishes. It is a very interesting presentation of this traditional dish that elevates the table and can be served either as a starter or as a main course.
Make the fava beans… That is, boil a bag of Santorini fava beans (400 g) in four times its weight water, together with a large onion (peeled, whole), and a little salt and pepper. After 40 minutes, remove the onion and add one and a half cup of virgin olive oil, and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. When it starts to get dense, lower the heat. Stir very often so that it does not stick. If the peas didn’t break down completely to form a smooth pure, use a beamer. The onion should have completely melted into the fava too.
Let the fava cool down a bit and then pour it on a round plate with a pastry hoop, to get the shape of a cake. Put it in the fridge, covered, for at least three hours.
Take the fava cake out of the fridge before the meal so that it is not too cold and sauté chopped zucchini, yellow and red peppers, dried onion together with smoked turkey in very small cubes. You can use any vegetables or meat you wish, as long as it is chopped and easy to include in a spoonful when eating.
Spread them hot on the fava beans and remove the hoop. Serve with a cake spatula.
Santorini fava and many more local food products can be obtained from our online store here