Split Pea Spread

June 12, 2016

I have a giant bag of split peas. I bought it a while ago to make Kik Alicha, an Ethiopian split pea stew, but haven't made an edible version yet. The peas were wasting away and only brought out every once in a while for a truly awful version of that fragrant dish - which we can now get locally anyway, so trying to recreate it has lost a bit of its value. Especially since it seems to be one of those things I just can't get right. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian place cooks everything in ghee so I always end up with a giant rash and stomach problems for a few days after eating there. Maybe I do need to keep working on that recipe.

I had cooked a big batch of these peas for a stew (which Gus, our old sheepdog, ended up eating) and saved some just in case it didn't work out. Obviously it didn't. I was a little disheartened and didn't want to try again quite so soon. Making a dip is one of my favourite things to do with leftover cooked pulses. They're so easy to throw together and last at least a week in the fridge, which means lots of extra meal choices or quick options if I'm too busy to cook.

This recipe ended up being more of a spread than a dip because of the starchiness of the split peas, and I loved it. It went on every sandwich, cracker, and wrap while it lasted. Who needs mayo or cheese when you have a high protein, healthier option kicking around in the fridge? It makes a great dip for crunchy veggies, too.

Apparently there's a Greek recipe called Fava that uses split peas to make a hummus-like dip, but I don't know any Greek people, and I'd never heard of it. There are some strong Mediterranean flavours like sumac, lemon, and olive oil in this dish, though. I did a little research and the traditional version uses a whack of cooked onions, which this recipe certainly does not. I've added some lemon thyme here as well, one of my favourite herbs that's doing really well in the herb/butterfly garden.

Split peas also pack a bigger nutritional punch than chickpeas with more protein and fibre, are easier to digest, and have a lighter, less bean-y taste.


Makes just over two cups

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked yellow split peas*
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon thyme
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add everything into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend at high speed until smooth, about two minutes depending on how powerful your blender is.

Serve immediately for a more dip-like consistency, or chill and serve cold for use as a spread. This is best after being in the fridge for a day. It will keep up to a week in the fridge.

To serve, top with extra sumac and lemon thyme.

Notes:
1. To cook the split peas, soak them for at least 12 hours, rinse, cover them with water, and cook until quite soft. They will take quite a while to cook, so I recommend making a larger batch and freezing some for later use.
2. If it's too thick and not blending well, add a splash of water.

4 comments on "Split Pea Spread"
  1. Dear Alexandra,
    I have found your blog somewhat by mistake, browsing here and there, looking for amazing vegetarian recipes and here I have found them :) I'm already loving what I've seen here on you blog, I've bookmarked a few of your recipes and simply wanted to thank you for making this blog and such amazing recipes. Keep up the great job!
    Katya

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Katya! That's so sweet.

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  2. Its look sooo delicious. Perfect dish!
    thanks for sharing recipes with us here. Looking more from you dear

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  3. Yesss when I went to Ottolenghi in London, there was some split pea mash that reminds me a lot of this! (But with green peas.) I tried to recreate it and it was yum but my styling was absolutely laughable compared to yours--gorgeous!!!

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