This week’s recipe: Greek Fava Dip
So the Super Bowl started four minutes ago as of this writing. Who will win, the team or the other team? Just kidding, I know who the teams are, barely. I’ve never cared about football, not even a little. I know that this means that I’m not a Real American but there are so many other reasons for that that I’m a hopeless case anyway. My one firsthand exposure to football was when I went to a game my senior year of college. It was our school’s first ever night game, against the hated Harvard University (no, I did not go to Yale, but doesn’t everyone hate Harvard?) and was therefore a Big Deal. All of my friends were going, including a friend who tried unsuccessfully to sneak a Nalgene full of vodka past security. Once we arrived, I realized that there was this whole other side of Brown that I had never seen before–I called it Fratty Brown. It involved tailgating and keg stands and muscly guys in sleeveless racerback shirts. My only experience with Fratty Brown up to this point had been attending a Halloween party at a frat house my sophomore year. There was a costume contest–separate contests for boys and girls–and two girls dressed as a slutty ladybug and slutty bee made out with each other and they STILL lost to a group of girls dressed as the Village People. Their self-esteem, which must not have been great to begin with, no doubt plummeted to new lows that night.
But anyway, the football game. My friend Warren, who is a Hong Kong native and had limited exposure growing up to the joys of American football, sat next to me and we tried to figure out the rules, much to the agitation of my friend Rebecca, who was sitting in front of us and is a big football fan and almost had an aneurysm because of our ignorance. Good times, good times. I left after 45 minutes because our team was winning, and we ultimately won the whole game, so I guess they didn’t need my support.
So that’s a positive memory, which is good, because otherwise I think football is a piece of garbage. It’s boring, it’s slow, it’s incredibly dangerous for the players, and it seems to be full of wife-beaters (every time the NFL runs one of those treacly, cynical “NFL Means Family” commercials I want to throw something at the TV). I know that it’s truly an original hot take to say that maybe we shouldn’t be entertained watching young, mostly minority men bash each other’s heads in for the benefit of their old white corporate masters who have spent decades lying about the effects of said head-bashing, but I’m just the sort of brave truth-teller to say it. Here is an interesting article about attempts to make football safer for high school players, but until those reforms get adopted nationwide, it’s going to be the kitten bowl for me. Just kidding, I would never watch football. Did you know that, according to a Wall Street Journal study, there are only 11 minutes of actual action on average in any given football game? Eff that ess, I’d rather watch paint dry, ’cause at least paint isn’t giving anyone CTE or putting money in freakin’ Dan Snyder’s pocket.
(By the way, if you’re wondering, I’m rooting for the Falcons. And by “rooting for” I mean “occasionally thinking about in a vaguely positive manner because I went to college in New England and Patriots fans can be real assholes.”)
So anyway, here’s some fava dip. It’s very appropriate to be posting about dip on the Super Bowl, now that I think about it. Now I know this is confusing, because fava is a type of bean and one can make dip from it, but this is actually made of yellow split peas. I first encountered fava dip at a Greek restaurant in December. I don’t really like Greek food and I tend to prefer my carbs straight, thank you, no meddling protein-rich dips welcome. But my coworker convinced me to try in and, why, I’ve never looked back since! By which I mean I made some two weeks ago and may make it again because now I have this two-thirds full bag of yellow split peas and what the hell else am I going to do with them. No, but seriously guys, this was really good, and so easy to make. While it cooked, I threw together some pita from the Breads Bakery cookbook and blammo, delicious lunch. I halved the recipe but there was still a lot left over so I spent the next week eating it with baby carrots and generally feeling very virtuous about my healthy lifestyle. You too can enjoy that feeling of smug satisfaction with the recipe below!
Greek Fava Dip
- 2 cups (~500g) dry yellow split peas, rinsed
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Paprika for garnish (optional)
- Place the split peas in a large saucepan with 5 cups of warm water. Set the burner to high heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Skim any foam that forms on the surface of the liquid, then add the red onion, scallion, and garlic. Return the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the peas are tender, turn off the heat and add the olive oil and salt. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture (or process in batches in a tabletop blender). Taste and add more salt as needed.
- The fava will thicken as it cools. Serve topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika; provide crusty bread and/or sliced vegetables for dipping.