The monks, especially on Mount Athos, are fasting most of the year. Thus, those who are in charge of the cook’s activity are specializing in food with olive oil. With their passion and love, they transform the simplest dish into a delicious meal to please their brothers and visitors of the monasteries, who are tired of their intercessions and long-lasting services.
Fava is one of the favorite foods and one of the most popular appetizers. It is eaten pure or as a side dish and accompanies perfectly fish and seafood. Try Mount Athos fava, as it is made by the monk Epiphanios from Mylopotamos.
Ingredients (4 to 5 servings)
Half a kilo of fava beans
200 grams of olive oil
You can find fava beans in three colors. The yellow type is split vetch, the red and the green are types of split pea. The most delicious is the yellow, not that the others are not good. “Test everything. Hold onto the good”, says the blissful Apostle Paul. You can, in addition, prepare and serve them in a soup or as a salad or a side dish.
Wash the fava beans, put them in cold water in a soup pot and set them on the fire to boil. As you want to make a soup, you will use less fava about 350 grams. Clean, wash and finely chop the onions and add them to the fava as soon as it starts boiling. Important! After the first half of the cooking, the fava beans need to be stirred constantly, so that they will not stick to the pot. Lower the heat and cook the soup slowly, until it thickens and the peas dissolve completely. Then take it off the stove and add the olive oil, salt, cumin and lemon juice and stir well. Our soup is ready. It is served warm.
You boil the beans exactly in the same way, putting in the entire half kilo of favas and once they boil, add all the rest of the ingredients, stir well and let the mixture cool. Once it has cooled, it thickens. Stir it very well and serve. You can, if you wish, add more olive oil. Fava has the tendency to absorb oil, no matter how much you add.
This recipe can be made without olive oil.
Someone once kept adding olive oil and mixing it, wondering where all that oil went. Then he came up with the saying “the fava must have a deep cavity”. This phrase is used when someone is suspicious of some event or a person.
*From the book “The Cuisine of the Holy Mountain Athos” by the monk Epiphanios o Mylopotamos