Lemon garlic split pea dip is your new favorite dip & spread. It is crazy delicious, made with 4 ingredients, oil-free, vegan, high-protein, free of nuts and seeds, and easy to make, too.
The Fresh Snack You Need to Make
January—a post-holidays, mid-winter, resolutions riddled month–needs as many bright points as it can get. If it is not coming by way of the weather (or an almost forgotten stash of holiday candy), I suggest making a batch of this sunny lemon split pea dip, post haste.
Before you think, well whoop de doo, another variation on hummus, think again. This golden spread is stellar, of the “here comes the sun!” variety.
My inspiration for the recipe comes from favasalata, a Greek split pea dip. Favasalata, unlike chickpea hummus, is not flavored with tahini (sesame seed paste), nor cumin. Further, its texture, though thick and smooth, is discernably lighter than hummus.
Creating my version of the recipe involved some serious stripping, both of steps and ingredients, until I had something entirely new. This included scrapping some fussy (and dumb) steps, ramping up the garlic and lemon, and then eliminating all of the oil. The result is fresh, flavorful, and extraordinarily delicious. You can eat a lot of it and feel like a superstar for doing so.
More Reasons to Make This Recipe
This silky-smooth, boldly flavored dip is extraordinary in taste, texture, minimalism, and ease of preparation. It is all of the following, but so much more:
Made with 4 ingredients. Plus, water and optional/adjustable salt.
Oil-free. Split peas are velvety once cooked and pureed (without any help from oil).
High protein. Split peas are plant protein superstars.
Plant-based. Egg-free and dairy free.
Nut-free & seed-free. No tahini or nut butters in sight.
Simple to make. Simmer and blend, that’s about it. Also, zero chopping required.
Frugal. It costs about $1 dollar—in total—to make 3 cups (750 mL) -worth.
Ingredients for the Recipe
You will need the following four, humble ingredients (plus water, and optional/adjustable salt) to make this recipe happen.
Split peas. I use yellow split peas, but green split peas can also be used with equal success.
Garlic. I use fresh garlic cloves in the recipe. If pinched for time (or you are out of fresh garlic) I have an option in the recipe for using garlic powder.
Lemon. You will need one large lemon (or about 2 small). Both the finely grated zest and the juice of the lemon are used (mega lemon!).
Turmeric. Ground turmeric adds subtle depth, and glorious golden color to the dip. If you do not have it, the recipe will still work (and will still be delicious). I have suggestions in the recipe for alternative spices.
Optional/Adjustable:Salt. The use and amount of salt is always optional/adjustable according to your needs and preferences. I prefer fine sea salt, but any salt will do.
Step By Step Instructions
Let’s make a dip!
Place the peas, along with 5 cups (1.25 L) water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to low heat. Do not cover the pan, you want the water to slowly evaporate. Let the peas cook for 40 minutes.
And now a word about the smell of cooking peas: my husband and son complained (“Ewww!” from small man and big man alike) while these peas were simmering away. If the smell puts you off, fear not, the final dip does not taste like peas, it tastes like lemon-garlic vacation to the Mediterranean 🙂
After the 40 minutes have transpired, add the peeled, whole cloves of garlic to the saucepan. Continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until the peas are very soft and falling apart. Cool slightly.
I love garlic (lots), but raw garlic can be harsh. Simmering it for a few minutes, along with the peas, mellows its flavor without the bother of roasting/cooking it separately.
The peas should look mushy when spooned up.
Transfer the peas and garlic to a food processor or high speed blender. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) water to the container and then blend until completley smooth. You will need to stop a few times to scrape the sides of the container.
Finely grate 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest from the lemon. Juice the lemon, measuring out 2 tablespoons of juice. Add these to the pea puree along with the turmeric and (optional) salt. Blend until completley smooth, adding more water as needed to achieve a thick, smooth consistency.
Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until cold. The puree will look looser than homemade hummus, but it will thicken once it is chilled.
Introducing your new favorite dip!
Add Some Toppings
This dip does not need any adornments, but it is fun (and delicious) to add them, especially when presenting and sharing with others (Remember gatherings? Sigh. We will get back to them soon!).
Here is a short list of easy ideas:
Thinly sliced green onions (a traditional favasalata topping), finely chopped red onion, or minced chives.
A tiny drizzle of olive oil, as a final flourish when serving, is a much better use of your good stash than adding glugs of it when blending.
Nuts & seeds
A lightly sprinkle of plain or toasted pine nuts (a traditional favasalata topping), seeds (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas, hemp hearts) or other varieties of nuts (finely chopped, plain or toasted).
How to Use the Dip
Use the puree as as a dip, with the vegetables, crackers or chips of you choice. It can also be used a spread for wraps and sandwiches. I am also a fan of eating it directly off of a spoon :).