Greek Fava Recipe – Summer Joy

Yesterday was a perfect London day. 24 deg C, bright sunshine, and a lovely tease of a breeze. No humidity that my hair could sense, or my skin. Yesterday was a day that rushed in and yelled summer, and then pulled away again. It is ok, it is coming back later this week, I believe. 

A day like yesterday tickles my memory and brings me to places like Greece. Specifically the islands, I love an island, being a child of an island myself. I love being by the water, and that feeling of being carefree. A feeling I don’t think I have felt in a while and that I ache for. Memories of bright Greek salads (so good in Greece but they rarely translate outside), bowls of thick Greek yogurt with generous sploshes of local honey, moussaka with a cloud light topping of eggy bechamel. And fava, one of my favourite things to eat in Greece. 

First memories of Greek fava take me back to the Cyclades 20 years ago. I had never tasted anything like it. Rich and creamy and fluffy, intense yet light, I always wondered what trickery was involved . I remember one version in particular, we were island hopping and one of our group was Greek, from Thessaloniki. She would find for us the tavernas where the locals ate and we always ate brilliantly. One evening, our first evening on the gorgeous island of Amorgos, we sat at a table on a rooftop taverna overlooking the sea. Us, some local cats anxiously awaiting scraps from the table, a large man nearby with a huge platter of fried whitebait, and in front of me, a plate of saffron yellow favas and crusty bread, a glass of wine. 

Who would have thought that that dish could translate to a London table on a sunny evening? It can. The trickery is only in the sourcing of the fava itself, and in allowing it the time to cook (I bought mine at Maltby & Greek – gorgeous fava from Feneos). I like to blend it until smooth and eat it hot. Creamy over chunky, but this is personal preference from what I can gauge. The fava should be served with slices of fine red onion and capers on top to perk it, if you want to be traditional. Always with a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy! Tell me, what are your foods of summer? We are nearly there! 

Greek Fava Recipe – Summer Joy

Greek Fava Recipe – Summer Joy

Ingredients

  • 500g Greek fava
  • water – enough to cover
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil and extra to drizzle
  • one large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • garnishes: I used edible flowers and baby kale, traditionally thinly sliced red onion and capers are used, always with a drizzle of olive oil

Instructions

  • Put the fava, onion and garlic in a saucepan and cover them with water so that there is about an inch of water over the beans. Bring to the boil. Scoop off any foam that rises to the surface and discard. Allow the fava to simmer for at least an hour and up to an hour and a half, until they are tender. (While the beans are simmering, add hot water if it looks like they are going to dry out, but not too much you want to just cover them).
  • Add the extra virgin olive oil – I know it sounds like a lot but it is essential and it is healthy and delicious – and blend in a blender or with a hand blender, until soft. Some people prefer it a bit coarser but I love how creamy they get.
  • Season with sea salt and serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and thin sliced red onion and capers, or some greens and lovely flowers as I did.
  • 4.7.2.19

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    Niamh

    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.

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