Susie Theodorou’s fava bean dip

The Greeks and southern Italians serve this fava bean purée as a dip or as a simple sauce with meat and fish. Favas are dried green broad beans. I use the ‘split’ kind here which don’t need pre-soaking and cook down easily. You can find them in larger supermarkets, in Mediterranean delis and online.

John Kernick


225g split (cracked) fava beans, washed and drained
900ml water
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
pinch of sea salt flakes
75ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
juice of 1 lemon
a topping of your choice (see below for one idea and the book for more)
flatbread, to serve

1. Place the fava beans in a large sauté pan with a lid, cover with the water and bring to the boil, skimming any white foam off the surface. Reduce to a simmer, add the chopped onion, cover with the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, stir the beans and season with salt. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beans are very soft. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Transfer the beans to a food processor or blender. Add the olive oil and lemon juice little by little and process until super smooth. Taste, add extra lemon juice and salt if necessary, then spread over a large plate and scatter with one of my suggested toppings from the book (one of which is pictured). Serve with flatbread.

Heat a large cast-iron pan until very hot. Add 300g cherry tomatoes and cook until they char, about 2-3 minutes, then add 75g pitted Kalamata olives and 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Stir once, then add 2 large sprigs of rosemary (broken into smaller ones) and season. Cook for another minute, then stir in 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and swirl the pan to incorporate all the flavours. Spoon over the dip or purée of your choice and serve.

Mediterranean: Naturally Nutritious Recipes From the World’s Healthiest Diet by Susie Theodorou is published by Kyle Books, price £16.99. As well as brilliant recipes, useful tips and pantry wisdom, the book devotes an entire chapter to the health benefits of eating the Mediterranean way, with expert advice and nutrition counts for each recipe to help you build them into your own plan. To order a copy for £12.74 (a 25 per cent discount) until 17 June visit or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.