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The creative face of Santorinian Fava

A recipe by Vassilis Zacharakis 

During our last visit to Santorini island, we were more than happy to meet Vassilis Zacharakis; Chef of the Nichteri restaurant in Santorini and one of the visionary people of the 2013 Year of Gastronomy Santorini project, he was kind enough to introduce us to the flavors of the island’s unique ingredients by creating a variation of a traditional fava dish. The fava of Santorini is quite famous; it is actually yellow split peas, growing in the island’s special volcanic soil for more than 3500 years… Sweet, blonde, delicious and granted with the Protected Designation of Origin statue, Santorinian fava is not only the base for traditional dishes, but also the favorite ingredient of many recognized Chefs.

Here’s the Santorinian Fava recipe by Vassilis Zacharakis: you can combine it with a fried egg and local sausage -a traditional match made in heaven, or you can pamper your gourmet-self and try the Chef’s refined variation of the dish; it’s a taste that will make you mind travel to the magical Santorini and will give you an idea about the island’s cultural profile, that has always been connected with the art of food.


Fava of Santorini

• 1 kilo yellow split peas (fava)

• 2.7 liters mineral water

• 210 grams onion, finely chopped

• 180 grams olive oil

• 35 grams salt

• 2 grams pepper

• 150 grams raw olive oil


Clean the fava and wash it thoroughly under running water. Put it in a pan, add the mineral water and bring to a boil. Remove the foam that is formed on the surface of the water and reduce the temperature to the minimum. Put on the lid and simmer stirring from time to time. In a frying pan put the 180 grams olive oil and the onion; let them simmer slowly until the onion is tender, then add it to the fava pan and stir well. Continue cooking the fava until it is almost melted. Take it off the heat, add the raw olive oil, salt, pepper and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender.


Fava-Sausage- Poached Egg

• 1 egg

• Fresh Savory

• 80 grams Santorinian sausage

• 150 grams cooked fava

• 2 slices of bread

• Flowers of wild rocket

• fleur de sel

• fresh ground pepper


• 150 grams cooked fava

• 70 grams Butter

• 50 ml chicken broth

• 1-gram white truffle oil



Flavor the egg with the fresh savory (as you can see in the picture) and boil it at 64 °C for one hour.

Fava Mousse

In a pot, add the 150 grams of  fava, the broth and the butter and heat until the ingredients are combined. Place them in a siphon, add the white truffle oil and put it in the freezer.


Heat the other 150 grams of fava in pan until lukewarm; toast the bread and sauté the sausage until crispy. Put them on the dish, adding the poached egg and the fava mousse. Decorate the dish with rocket flowers, freshly ground pepper and fleur de sel.


We would like to thank Vassilis Zacharakis for his warm welcome
and for sharing with us this delicious recipe!
photography by christos drazos
words by maria alipranti


  • Pia Vancoutren31/03/2013 - 2:01 am

    I just love Santorini and Ios! that’s where my ancestors/relatives/yaya are from! Love the island the people —Iam coming back soon!