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Fava Skordalia
Yellow Split Peas with Garlic

From MURSKI HOMESTEAD BED & BREAKFAST
2 cups yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
4-6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 Tbsp dry white wine
2 Tbsp dried oregano, crumbled, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

All or a few of the following toppings:
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 Tbsp pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
4-5 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 medium tomato, cored, peeled, seeded diced and drained
Few sprigs of arugula, coarsely chopped
Few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place the split peas in a large pot, add water to cover by 4 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low & simmer, skimming often, for 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and simmer for 40 minutes more, stirring occasionally and adding a little warm water as needed to keep the peas covered as they cook. Add 1 tsp of the salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes more, or until the peas are soft and almost dry.

Puree the peas with a stick (immersion) blender, or transfer to a food processor and puree. Let the puree cool completely; it will thicken considerably.

In a large mortar, grind the garlic with the remaining 1 tsp salt into a smooth paste. Add 2 cups or so of the puree and continue grinding to incorporate the garlic. Or use a blender or a small food processor.

In a large bowl, combine the garlic mixture, the remaining pea puree, the oil, 3 Tbsp each vinegar and wine, the oregano and pepper to taste, stirring vigorously to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

If the skordalia seems too thick, add a little vinegar, wine or water to thin. Spread on a large plate, sprinkle with oregano, garnish with toppings of your choice and serve.