Fava is an easy dish to make and its bright yellow colour is a pretty addition to any table. It can be served as an appetiser, meze, or a side dish. Fava goes particularly well with dark leafy greens, salty dishes, and fish. Look for the peas at a Greek grocer, or try an Indian market and look for yellow dal (moong). Last choice: check your local grocery store for yellow split peas.
2 cups yellow split peas
5 cups water (or more)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, quartered
- Place split peas, water and garlic, if using, in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, partly cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour, stirring from time to time, until the peas are soft and have formed a puree.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil, quartered onion and olives.
Tzatziki is a Greek meze or appetiser, and is also used as a sauce for souvlaki and gyros. Tzatziki is made of strained yoghurt (usually sheep’s milk or goat’s milk in Greece and Turkey) mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, usually olive oil, pepper, sometimes dill, sometimes lemon juice and parsley and sometimes mint. The cucumbers are either pureed and strained, or seeded and finely diced. Olive oil, olives, and herbs are often used as garnishes. In Cyprus, the dish is known colloquially as talattouri, and recipes often include less garlic and include the herb mint, unlike the Greek counterpart. Tzatziki is always served cold. In touristy restaurants, and outside Greece and Cyprus, tzatziki is often served with bread (loaf or pita) as part of the first course of a meal. Greeks, Cypriots and those from all over the Middle East use this dish as a side dish to a meal with meat. The acidity cuts the fat, thus tzatziki is also used as a sauce for souvlaki and gyros, in which case it may be called cucumber sauce.
2½ cups (700g) Greek yoghurt
1 telegraph or 2 medium sized cucumbers, unpeeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (20ml) lemon juice or vinegar
Pita or other flat bread, to serve
- Spoon yoghurt into fine strainer (or piece of muslin) placed over a larger bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain.
- Grate cucumber finely, place in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze the cucumber, removing as much liquid as possible.
- Combine yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar and mix well. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and beat them with a fork to mix well.
- Serve as a dip with pita bread or as a sauce for dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and grilled meats.