Spring Fava with Fresh Peas

The Greek recipe Fava is one of the all-time classic Greek meze plates, most often made with yellow split peas cooked until they disintegrate into a puree then swirled to creamy perfection with extra virgin Greek olive oil and lemon juice. It’s a Mediterranean diet standard bearer! There are a few regional fava recipes, for green split pea puree (Lesvos), and broad bean puree, called koukofava in Greek, from Crete. Here’s a contemporary idea that calls for using fresh or frozen peas. It is one of the dips that works well as a sandwich spread or spooned over bruschetta and it pairs beautifully with shrimp or grilled or fried seafood.
5 min
5 min


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen shelled peas
  • ½ cup ouzo or 1 star anise
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ to 2/3 cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • Fresh strained juice of 1 lemon, or more, as desired
  • Greek sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or red onion
  • 1 scant teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta (optional)


  1. Place the peas inside a medium saucepan filled with enough water to cover and the ouzo or star anise. Cover, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 3 minutes for fresh peas, 3 to 5 minutes for frozen.
  2. Drain and discard the star anise, if using.
  3. Transfer the hot peas to the bowl of a food processor. Add the parsley and tarragon. Pulse on and off while adding enough of the olive oil and lemon juice in alternating increments to achieve a smooth, silky puree.
  4. Transfer the fava to a serving dish and garnish with either chives or chopped red onion, pink peppercorns, and feta, if using.

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Do not salt the water when boiling peas because doing so toughens them up.

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