Psomi & Alati's yellow split pea puree with deep-fried capers
1 hour, 20 minutes
8 to 10 meze portions
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large red onions, peeled and sliced
Scant 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot, then add the onions and toss to coat. Raise the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to color.
2. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to cook the onions until they turn a deeper golden color, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook slowly until the onions are soft, darkly caramelized and sweet, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Season to taste with salt and set aside in a warm place until the peas are ready.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup salted capers, rinsed, drained and dried on paper towels
In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the capers and fry, turning carefully, until they puff up and begin to pop. Strain the capers immediately with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside in a warm place until the peas are ready.
Split pea puree and final assembly
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Greek, divided
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound yellow split peas, rinsed and picked over
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 2/3 cups water
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, strained (optional and to taste)
1. In a wide, deep pot heated over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in the onions and garlic and sweat until the onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the yellow split peas and toss to coat in the oil, then stir in the chicken broth, water and one-half teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the peas have absorbed all the liquid and are the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes. Season to taste with salt.
3. Purée the peas with an immersion blender and add the remaining olive oil and lemon juice, to taste, if using. Continue to purée until the mixture is silky and smooth. This makes about 5 cups purée.
4. Spread the pea purée onto a large platter and top with the caramelized onions and fried capers. Serve immediately.