Black badger peas, which are also known as carlin peas, maple peas or pigeon peas, are an old English pulse that date back to the Middle Ages and were traditionally eaten in the north of England around Easter time. They aren't very easy to find in supermarkets, but rather bizarrely they are quite commonly found for sale in pet shops, as they are also used for feeding pigeons, as their (alternative) name suggests.
200g black badger peas or pigeon peas, soaked in cold water overnight
Vegetable or chicken stock for cooking
6-8 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
A handful or two of wild garlic, washed and dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Simmer the peas gently in the stock for about 45-50 minutes, topping up with water if necessary until tender. You can cook these in advance and leave them in the stock until required.
To serve, drain the peas, transfer them to a pan with the spring onions, wild garlic and butter and heat for a few minutes until the garlic is wilted. Season to taste; serve.
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