One of our beach dinner nights was charcuterie and small plates, and it was a true feast! Little five year old Anna wanted to know why we were eating like royalty. Because we can, dear girl! Good food should always be a part of life.

Negative side of food love, Jen and I spent basically an entire beach day cooking. I mean, nonstop. This is my fault. I take full responsibility for consistently underestimating required effort and overestimating my own abilities to get things done.


We made a ton of recipes this day, and they were all wonderful. Even then, there were a few clear winners and this was definitely one of them. If you love onions, which I believe most people do even if they think they don’t, you will love this spread. The onions are slowly caramelized over a long, slow heat, bringing out all of the sweetness and none of the bite. 

GO AHEAD AND improvise

Topping them with a fava bean mixture adds the perfect texture to this puree. The little beach grocery store didn’t have fava beans handy, so we substituted lima beans and it was still delicious. We would recommend making this one up the day prior and then sitting it out to bring it to room temperature before serving.

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Golden Onion, Chickpea and Fava Spread

  • Author: Liz Sloan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x




¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ vegetable oil

3 jumbo or 4 large onions, finely diced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a sprig for favas

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

½ cup canned chickpeas, drained

⅔ cup frozen fava beans, defrosted

or substitute ⅔ cup fresh shelled peas

Lemon wedges, for serving


In a large, high-sided skillet, heat ¼ cup olive oil and the vegetable oil over medium high-heat. Add onions, thyme leaves, salt, pepper, and cook, stirring, until onions begin to soften and glisten, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook stirring often, until the onions are evenly golden, but not charred and have reduced to 1 ½ cups, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly then transfer all but 2 tablespoons of the onions to the bowl of a food processor and add the chickpeas. Process until smooth.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, favas, and thyme sprig to the onions in the skillet and warm through over medium-low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread onion mixture on a plate and top with warmed fava beans. drizzle with olive oil and squeeze lemon wedges on top.

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