Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Stuffed Mushrooms and Fava, the "Greek Hummus"



It rained today and I immediately had a bitter flashback to the same time last week in Greece, when I couldn't open my eyes because the sun was in my face. I can't bring myself to Greece again, at least not until I've saved up for a few months, but I can bring a tiny bit of Greece to me.

Fava is a Greek dip much like the more popularly known hummus, just that it's made with the a variety of the humble yellow split pea, instead of chickpeas. Santorini fava is apparently superior in taste, colour and texture and hence a must-have on the island, and we had it with yummy toasted pita bread. Here in London, I can only settle for the yellow split peas from the Indian grocer's down the road, and toasted stale bread (it was good sourdough bread though, a Hoxton rye from Saturday's shift at the farmer's market).

Greek Fava
Ingredients
1 cup of yellow split peas
slightly more than 2 cups of water
1 red onion, chopped finely
juice of 1/2 a lemon
unrefined sea salt
good drizzle of your favourite extra virgin olive oil
parsley, to garnish

Serving ideas
toasted pita/bread (I actually really liked dipping crusty sourdough toast into this)
handful of button or chestnut mushrooms

Method
1. Wash the split peas well. I also soaked them overnight which helps to make them more digestible and reduces the 'active' cooking time the next day, though they do cook up pretty easily anyway.
2. Bring the split peas to a boil, removing any froth on the top, and add half of the onions to the pot, and then let simmer steadily till most of the water has been absorbed and the split peas are now soft and mushy.
3. Season now (too soon and it will never soften), and add the evoo and lemon juice, and mash using the back of a wooden spoon for a more rustic, textured fava. Or if you prefer a smooth puree, use a blender.
4. Serve, making a little well in the middle to hold the rest of the onions, a sprig of parsley, and another good drizzle of evoo. Dip bread in and enjoy!


Or, for stuffed mushrooms,
5. Pop the stems from the mushrooms, and toss the mushrooms with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Stuff the cavity with as much fava as you can, I also sprinkled some thyme over, and then bake in a 180 degrees celsius oven for about 25 min, or till the mushrooms are cooked and release their juices, and the stuffing gets crusty.

This recipe makes quite a lot of fava, more than enough for a couple of slices of toast, which was why I decided to stuff the extra into a few large button mushrooms lurking in the fridge. Really simple, but it turned out surprisingly delicious. The edges of the stuffing crisped up beautifully, while the insides remained soft and creamy inside the juicy mushrooms. I would happily do an "up-size" version with fat and meaty portobello mushrooms the next time round.

15 comments:

  1. Oo what an interesting and different recipe. I love the split peas used for the hummus. Looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds so unique! I think about eating with the pita bread but stuffing mushroom is a fantastic idea!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I make houmous all the time but I've never tried fava. It sounds delicious - I'd just need to be a bit more oranised in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Shu Han,

    What a lovely sounding dip! I do like the idea of stuffing a mushroom and baking it-must try that...I often stuff little button mushrooms with my ‘ordinary’ hummus and serve uncooked as little canapés- some topped with finely chopped parsley and some with finely grated lemon so they look very pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  5. megsmith: it gives a more exciting yellow colour than the cream-coloured hummus too!

    nami: I like them both ways(:

    corina: actually, split peas take SO much faster than chickpeas to cook! oh, unless you meant canned chickpeas?

    green dragonette: baking them gives them a lovely crust on the edges too, and I don't have to cook the mushrooms separately first! ooh great idea on the garnishes(:

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is interesting, the dish is called fava but made with split peas instead of fava beans:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hehe, I was gonna say the same as Three-Cookies - called fava, but not made with fava beans :D I don't think I've ever heard of this actually - it looks delicious though. I love all dips made from pulses so I'll need to give this a try next. I might need to use green split peas instead of yellow :( I can never find yellow ones here :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love this Shu Han. I adore 'hummous' made from different pulses.

    ReplyDelete
  9. manu: thank you!

    three-cookies: I thought the same thing too ;)

    charles: oooh you'll have a most interesting coloured fava then! looking forward to seeing it!

    susan: I love all sorts of dips really (:

    ReplyDelete
  10. Once again another delicious recipe! I'd love to try these stuffed mushrooms, so nice to see such a unique idea. x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ooh, I've never tried split pea hummus! Thank you for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mmm..the little fava 'hummus' stuffed mushroom sounds and looks delicious, will be great for canapés :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awesome recipe & looks great! These will be great for my Easter lunch to go with my rosemary roasted lamb this Sunday! Thanks for the recipe. Happy Easter, Shu Han! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. no I didnt know this dish, which I am going to change soon. Its fitting too because I am looking for lighter dinner alternatives. thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete