Spotlight on Santorini Fava

A delicious traditional dish straight from the island of Santorini. Creamy and super tasty, the perfect starter or lunch. Serve either as a starter amongst friends.

As described by Peter Sommers, Santorini fava (Fava Santorinis) is one of the most significant products of that very famous island, along with the world known volcano wine and cherry-tomatoes, as well as the local capers. Fava is made from the plant lathurus clymenum, a local variety of yellow pea (not to be confused with what English-speakers know as fava beans!). According to archaeological finds from the Bronze Age city of Akrotiri, the fava plant has grown consistently and exclusively on the island for more than 3,500 years.

This unique raw material is processed according to traditional methods: ground with stone mills, matured in kanaves (the island’s typical underground storerooms, cut into the volcanic rock), and dried in the Aegean sun, resulting in a highly distinctive flavour. Today, about 200 growers cultivate fava fields on the island. The low yield per hectare, but also the labour-intensive method of threshing as well as the processing and conservation mentioned above, elevate its costs. Nevertheless, each year a good harvest is produced. Many imitating products grown elsewhere are available in market, but this fava of the Union of Santorini Cooperatives (SantoWines) is the only type that adheres to guaranteed standards. Like Santorini Assyrtiko and tomatinia, it is recognised by the EU as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).

The smooth and velvety texture of Santorini Fava makes a great basis for various tasty experiments. It is traditionally eaten warm, as an appetizer or as a purée accompanying a main course of meat or fish.

Ingredients Used From The Greek Lemon Classic Box — May 2017

  • 250g Santorini Fava
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Greek Olives — to garnish

In addition:
• 100ml extra virgin olive oil
•2 onions, finely chopped
•Juice of 1/2 lemon
•Salt & pepper to taste

How to cook it

  1. Rinse the fava, then place it in a large saucepan with the onions and bay leaves. Add enough water to cover.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30–45 minutes until thick and mushy.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and any remaining water before transferring the fava to a food processor along with the lemon juice.
  4. Add the extra virgin olive oil until well blended and thick.Finish with salt & pepper to taste and garnish with olives.

Tip — While the fava boils, some white foam may come to the surface. Discard the foam with a slotted spoon.

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