Saturday, 5 November 2016

Parched peas recipe for Bonfire Night

parched peas with balsamic vinegar  pic: Kerstin Rodgers/

Parched peas are a traditional Guy Fawkes snack up in the north of England. They sell them in polystyrene cups from vans or in Preston, from brown paper bags. Rather like chips, they are doused with salt and malt vinegar.

You can use dried peas or tinned. This pea is a dark maple or Carlin pea (British pea growers Hodmedods sell it) and they have a nutty, firm but fudgy flavour. Carlin stems from an ancient regional word for old woman or, for Halloween purposes, witch.

If using dried, soak for 24 hours, then boil in salted water for an hour. If you like them 'al dente' as they do in Lancashire, that should be enough. Other areas in the North prefer them softer. They are referred to as 'parched' because there is no stewing liquid, being quite dry apart from the vinegar. Once they are cooked or if you are using tinned, follow the steps in the recipe below. I've added a luxury touch, balsamic vinegar, to dress them.

These can of course be eaten at any time of the year. We should all be increasing our intake of pulses, good for diabetes, the menopause and the winter diet.
Try this warming, comforting, healthy recipe to eat around the bonfire this weekend.

parched peas with balsamic vinegar  pic: Kerstin Rodgers/

Parched Peas for Bonfire Night recipe

Serves 1-2

1 or 2 tbsp vinegar (any sort)
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar for garnishing

Heat up the peas on a medium to low heat in a saucepan.
Simmer for around five minutes.
Serve them in a china or enamel mug with balsamic vinegar poured on top. Eat hot or cold with a teaspoon.

parched peas with balsamic vinegar  pic: Kerstin Rodgers/


  1. Yum! They don't look beautiful, but sound like exactly what you want to eat when it's cold and nasty. 'Carlin' is a dialect word here in Ayrshire and was used by Robert Burns in 'Tam o Shanter' - his poem about witches and the devil.

  2. How interesting! They are super tasty, I wish they sold them in London.


I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)