Fava is a dish that to me epitomizes winter. I like to eat it with fresh, warm bread that is baked in our wooden oven. Bread made of sour yeast is my favorite. It is paradise to smell it coming out of the oven and then dip the bread in the creamy and tasty fava that is topped with my own olive oil.

Fresh bread

My mother would cook fava on Saturdays. It was the day that she would ‘burn’ her oven! She would wake up very early to make the bread and bake it in the oven in our yard. That is the bread that we would eat with the best fava in the world. My father used to say: “That is better than meat.”

The best fava

On Santorini the volcanic soil along with the dry nights and sunny days produces what is believed to be the best fava in Greece. It comes from the plant Lathyrus clymenum, cultivated on the island of Santorini for the last 3,500 years. Together with the unique grapes native to the region it’s one of the oldest traditions of the Cyclades (additional info from Niki Tsekou).

I hope you will love fava as much as I do!

Fava beans Katerina's Kouzina

To make fava we use yellow split peas. Boil them in 1 liter of water together with the onions. 

Add the onion to the fava - Katerina's Kouzina

Boil the fava beans - Katerina's Kouzina

When ready, transfer the mixture to a food processor and mix until the peas become smooth and creamy, like a purée.

Mix the fava to a purée - Katerina's Kouzina

Serve the fava with the olive oil, a tablespoon of diced onion and some capers or chopped dill on top. We on Poros like to squeeze a lemon over it! Enjoy!

Fava Katerina's Kouzina

Photographer: Annette Spaan



500g yellow split peas
2 small onions
1 cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Chopped parsley or dill
A tablespoon capers



Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: approx. 1 hour.

Rinse the split peas with plenty of water. In a pan start boiling the fava beans in 1 litre of water. Add the onion as it is. Simmer with the lid on for about 40-50 minutes, until the peas are thick and mushy (while the fava boils , some white foam will probably surface on the water. Remove the foam with a slotted spoon).

When ready, transfer the mixture to a food processor and mix until the peas become smooth and creamy, like a purée.

Serve the fava with the olive oil, a tablespoon of diced onion and some caper or chopped dill on top.

We on Poros like to squeeze a lemon on fava it is perfect!


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4 Responses to Fava

  1. Avatar
    Lynette Jolicoeur 2014/12/19 at 13:06 #

    This is wonderful Katerina! Thank you for sharing your fava recipe! I fell in love with this dish while visiting Santorini this past September. I ordered it in EVERY restaurant so that I could taste the different variations available and choose the version that I liked best. I determined that the addition of capers and onions was the best way to eat this! I have already purchased my yellow fava beans and will be making this SOON!

    • Avatar
      Katerina 2014/12/24 at 13:43 #

      Hey Lynnette I am very very happy that you like the fava recipe ! enjoy! It is a favorite ! I agree that onions and capers are the best taste combination ! Use it as a dip in parties or as a main course. I make from the left overs fava-keftedes (vegetarian meatballs ) I ll post the recipe!
      many greetings and love Katerina

  2. Avatar
    Betty Haskin 2015/01/11 at 18:57 #

    Hi Katerina,
    Fava has quickly become one of our favorites, too. I would love to see the recipe for the fava-keftedes. I always make enough fava to have left-overs!

    • Avatar
      Katerina 2015/01/15 at 16:50 #

      Hi again , fava is wow !!! my parents and grandparents loved it to. Takes a lot of olive oil and we have sayings in Greece about it . Very special. I will be on Poros from the 6th of February are you going to be there ? maybe meet and make some favokeftedes ? Many greetings Katerina

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