Friday, August 14, 2009
* 2 cups yellow split peas, pickled over and rinsed
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 4-6 garlic cloves
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 3-4 tablespoons dry white wine
* 2 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled, plus more for garnish
* fresh ground black pepper
* 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 2-3 tablespoons pitted and chopped kalamata olives
* 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
* 1 medium tomato, cored, peeled, seeded, diced and drained
* 2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced (white plus most of the green parts)
* 3 sprigs arugula, coarsely chopped
* 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
* extra-virgin olive oil
Place the split peas in a large pot, add water to cover by 4 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, skimming often, for 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and simmer for 40 minutes more, stirring occasionally and adding a little warm water as needed to keep the peas covered as they cook. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the peas are soft and almost dry.
Puree the peas with a stick (immersion) blender, or transfer to a food processor and puree. Let the puree cool completely; it will thicken considerably.
In a large mortar, grind the garlic with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt into a smooth paste. Add 2 cups or so of the puree and continue grinding to incorporate the garlic. Or use a blender or a small food processor.
In a large bowl, combine the garlic mixture, the remaining pea puree, the oil, 3 tablespoons each vinegar and wine, the oregano and pepper to taste, stirring vigorously to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
If the skordalia seems too thick, add a little vinegar, wine or water to thin. Spread on a large plate, sprinkle with oregano, garnish with toppings of your choice and serve.