Appetizers are my weakness. I’m an enthusiastic home cook, but I would rather cook a dinner party for eight, with a main dish and multiple sides, than bring an appetizer to a pot luck. Appetizers are always so…fussy. They need to be finger food, easy to eat with one hand while the other holds a glass of your favorite beverage. And that means a lot of work – instead of plating for eight people, you have to plate 48 itty-bitty individual servings.1
Dips are my appetizer escape hatch. It’s an appetizer served family style. No fussy individual servings; it’s up to the eater to dig in. Now, I have my favorites – roasted red pepper dip, hummus, salsa, baba ghanoush, – but I’m always looking for new ideas.
When I came across Fava, Greece’s dip made from yellow split peas, I knew I had a winner. It’s quick to make in the pressure cooker – under an hour, end to end, with most of the time spent waiting for the pressure cooker to finish its work. Serve it with a veggie tray and/or pita chips, and you have a healthy 2 dip for everyone to nibble on while they wait on your dinner party for eight.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Yellow Split Pea Dip (Greek Fava)
Sort and rinse the yellow peas; Spread the yellow split peas out in a single layer and sort through them - throw out any rocks, pieces of dirt, or bad looking peas.
Sauté the aromatics: Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat, or sauté mode in electric PCs, until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and sauté until the onion softens, about eight minutes. Stir in the yellow peas, then add the water and the teaspoon of salt.
Pressure cook the peas: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring the cooker to high pressure, and pressure cook for 10 minutes in an electric pressure cooker or 8 minutes in a stovetop cooker. (On the Instant Pot, use the Manual setting, and set the cook time for 10 minutes.) When the cooking time is over, remove the pot from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid any hot steam.
Whip, season, and serve: Stir the yellow peas vigorously, to help release the starch in the peas and thicken up the dip. Add the lemon juice and fresh ground black pepper, then taste, and add more salt if it needs it. (The dip should be highly seasoned - it may need another teaspoon of salt or so.) Serve.
Cuisine: Greek |Recipe Type: Pressure Cooker
This dip can be made ahead of time and refrigerated (for a few days) or frozen (for a few months.) It will thicken as it sits; warm it up in the microwave to loosen it up again. If you are making it a day or more ahead, add another cup of water (total of 5 cups) when you're pressure cooking the yellow peas. The peas will come out of the pot very soupy, but thicken up as they sit in the refrigerator.
I had a hard time with the ratio of water to yellow split peas in this recipe. (As you can see in the Notes section in the recipe itself.) I started with 5 cups of water to 1 pound of yellow split peas – the result was pea soup, not a dip…until I refrigerated the leftovers overnight. I got a surprise the next day – my “soup for lunch” was now the consistency of a dip. I cut back the water in the recipe to 4 cups, so it is useable as a dip straight out of the pot – but it really thickens up in the refrigerator. That’s OK – you can loosen it up by heating it up in the microwave – but if you’re making this ahead of time, add the extra cup of water.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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