Chefs' Recipes

Tedesca Osteria's fava with pickled shallots, dill and feta

A smooth, earthy meze, balanced with sharp pickles, salty feta and herbaceous dill.

By Brigitte Hafner
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking (plus pickling, cooling)
  • Serves 4 - 6
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"This smooth, soft, earthy puddle is complemented by sharp, sour pickles, salty feta and the aniseed flavours of dill," says Brigitte Hafner of Tedesca Osteria. "You can also use wild fennel fronds, which grow along the sides of creeks and roads."


  • 250 gm yellow split peas
  • 1 pinch of dried Greek oregano (see note)
  • 1 garlic clove, halved lengthways
  • 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
  • 10 gm feta, drained, crumbled
  • Dill and sourdough, to serve
Pickled shallots
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 90 gm caster sugar
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 2 large golden shallots, thinly sliced


  • 1
    To make pickled shallots, combine vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, thyme and 30ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves (2 minutes). Cool to room temperature then stir in shallots. Stand for 30 minutes. Makes 250ml.
  • 2
    Place peas in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, drain and rinse. Return peas to pan and cover with 750ml water and 1 tsp sea salt flakes. Add oregano and garlic and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, partially covered with a lid until peas are completely soft and mushy (30-40 minutes). You may need to top up the water if the peas look a bit dry. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. It is important to blend while the mixture is still warm. Once smooth and with motor running, gradually add olive oil followed by lemon juice. Season to taste and set aside to cool to room temperature. Makes 650gm.
  • 3
    To assemble, spoon fava mixture onto a plate, make a well in the centre then scatter over feta, pickled shallots and dill. Drizzle over olive oil and serve with sourdough to the side.


ried Greek oregano is available from specialty food shops. If unavailable, substitute dried Italian oregano.

  • undefined: Brigitte Hafner