Fava is a traditional starter, that I discovered during my time in Greece. I tried it in a traditional taverna in the beautiful hills of Thessaloniki. The place is not easy to find and you need to walk through a labyrinth of small streets, that are filled with stray cats. Orange trees, colourful little houses and street-art make the hidden district close to the acropolis of Thessaloniki a very special place. Once you reach the taverna, you sit in the streets, enjoy ice-cold water and a small glass of strong tsipouro, a traditional drink from the region of Macedonia.
When I came for the first time, my friend Jitka ordered some meze for me, since I did not know anything about Greek food. I also could not speak any Greek or read a Greek menu.
One of the meze was fava, a yellow puree made out of yellow split lentils. It originates on the island of Santorini and has a very distinct taste. In Portugal I tried to cook it with Indian split lentils, but unfortunately they tasted very different. Luckily a friend of mind recently went to Athens and bought four kilos of fava for me.
Put the lentils in a pot, add one onion (without skin) and the bay-leaf and let the lentils simmer for around 20 minutes. Whenever you see foam on top of the lentils, remove it with a spoon. If necessary add more water. After 20 minutes drain the water, remove the onion and the bay-leaf and add the juice of one lemon, five capers, some olive oil (three table-spoons might do the job) and a little bit of salt. Blend everything until smooth. Put the fava in a bowl and cover it with some spoons of olive oil. That way it will not dry out. Decorate it with raw onion rings, capers and sliced up lemons. Let it chill for some minutes before serving and enjoy it with pita, fried eggplants, a fresh salad and fried potatoes.
I am Julia, vegan by heart, traveler and minimalist based in beautiful Portugal. I love simple but delicious food, ashtanga, skating, surfing and having a nice conversation over snacks and a glass of wine. I am blogging about vegan food, my minimalist journey, life hacks and my experiences as a traveler.