Beans, Lentils & Peas! - FAKES/ΦΑΚΕΣ
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Today we are sharing one of the best kept secrets of Greek cuisine, the humble lentil!
As a child, I loathed Fakes, well at least my mother's recipe which is the only time that I seldom ate them. They tasted metallic and sour because mum would, as some traditional recipes instruct, finish it off with vinegar.
Now, I'm not here to turn you off lentils. No, no, no! I am now a believer!!
How you ask? Well, it was all on a school trip, in Year 12, when our teacher made the Italian version of Lentils & Sausage. Blew my mind that a dish with lentils was so, so tasty.
So began my love affair with lentils. I hope that the recipes that I've included below, inspire you to make them.
LENTILS / ΦΑΚΕΣ
Lentils are a great source of fibre & iron and are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Lentils are also made up of a large percentage of protein, which makes them a fantastic meat alternative!
Lentils look like tiny lenses, hence the name, which has its origins from the Latin for the word lens. Lentils have a mild, earthy flavour and are great in soups and salads.
Fakes, the soup, is one of the quickest recipes that we know.
Until recently we would use the traditional brown lentils..well, that is until we discovered Red Lentils!
Our lovely friend Dimi told us that she uses Red Lentils for Fakes and her family love them!
Don't be confused by the Split Red Lentils! If you use them, the Fakes will turn into a Greek style Indian dhal (which isn 't a bad thing, and could be a new dish?), as it will be super mushy! Use WHOLE Red Lentils for this recipe (pictured left).
Try out the Red Lentils, as a substitute for the Brown Lentils, when you make our Fakes recipe
Don't be stop buying those Brown Lentils just yet!
Brown Lentils can be quite versatile. We always have them in the pantry, especially for a quick warm meal in Winter, as they cook faster than the whole Red Lentils mentioned above.
The thing that we discovered is that Brown Lentils don't have to always be used to make Fakes, the soup!
No, no, they can become part of the most iconic Greek dish - Moussaka, or as I like to call it Faux-ssaka! And it's delicious and you won't miss the meat!
Yes, you read correctly! Faux-ssaka is my version of a vegetarian moussaka. I tried to make it wholly plant based, but I couldn't resist the butter for the topping!
I mean, who can resist a generous piece of this yumminess? !
You don't always have to eat lentils hot, cooked in a tomato sauce, you can actually use them to create one of the best salads ever, and our family fave (well after the Greek Salad)!
Cypriot Grain Salad!
Now this is 100% not our recipe, it's George Calombaris' from the old Hellenic Republic days. We loved it so much, and we are confident that you will love it too, so we want to share it with you!
It's 100% free to download right now from our Recipe Gallery.