Give your avocado toast a makeover with this yummy split pea dip

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Photo: The Full Helping

Pulse Ribbon

Photo: James Ransom
Photo: James Ransom

Sometimes grandmother knows best. Other times, a little shaking-up is in order, as Gena Hamshaw found when she experimented with a traditional family recipe.

The dish that The Full Helping blogger (and author of Food52 Vegan and Choosing Raw) created is one that could give your avocado toast a run for its (comfort food) money—and all she did was swap one protein-rich food from the pulse family (AKA chickpeas, beans, lentils, and dry peas) for another.

“What I love about this recipe is that it uses an unusual base—split peas, rather than chickpeas or white beans—to make a creamy, versatile topping for toast, wraps, and sandwiches,” she says of Yellow Split Pea Dip, based off a traditional Greek dish called Fava (but not made with fava beans, actually).

As for the toast part, Hamshaw says Middle Eastern za’atar bread (spiced with oregano, thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac) “is a delightful way to go,” with sliced heirloom tomatoes atop the Yellow Split Pea Dip—or alternately, you can add a bit of chives and cheese (Hamshaw likes vegan cashew cheese).

And while Hamshaw is a fan of pulses in general—whether it’s chickpeas, lentils, or beans—she’s got a lot of love for the simple, wholesome, non-flashy superfood in this dish: dry peas.

“I love them for so many reasons! First and foremost, I love that they offer abundant protein and nutrition at a minimal cost. I also love the hearty texture, the fact that they melt into soups and stews, and the slightly nutty flavor,” Hamshaw says.

So, who’s up for shaking things up, like Hamshaw—and swapping your avocado toast for this protein-rich, healthy-but-decadent choice? We’re calling it: Yellow is the new green.


Photo: The Full Helping
Photo: The Full Helping

Yellow Split Pea Dip (Fava)

Makes 3 cups, or 12 servings

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound (about 1¼ cups) dry yellow split peas
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
Optional toppings: Za’atar, fresh or dried oregano, chopped green onion tops, sun dried tomatoes, olives, lemon zest

Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion. Sautee the onion for 5-7 minutes, or until it’s clear and soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the garlic is very fragrant.

Add the split peas and the water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the split peas for 30-35 minutes, or until they’re very tender. Most of the water should be absorbed into the split peas, but the mixture should be moist–similar to a thick soup.

Transfer the whole mixture to a food processor fitted with the S blade and add an additional tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, salt, cumin, sumac, and red pepper flakes, if using. Process until the dip retains some of its texture, but is fairly smooth (you can also continue blending until it’s totally smooth, if you prefer a uniform texture that’s similar to hummus). Add a few splashes of water or another tablespoon of olive oil if desired, to create a thinner dip.

Top the dip with a drizzle of olive oil and any toppings of choice. Serve the dip warm, with pita chips, crackers, or veggies. Dip will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

For more recipes with dry peas and other pulses, visit

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