Yes, we are here!

At FERMENTATION and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-978-7464 or by email. Stay safe!

Slow-Braised Umbrian Wild Peas Recipe

Enjoy the flavor of Umbrian wild peas with a fermented shiitake and black garlic purée. Ideal as an accompaniment to braised meat.

| July 2019

Photo by Brett Stevens

Serves 8.

In Umbria these peas are traditionally slow-braised or ground into a powder to make a type of polenta. They have an extraordinary depth of flavour, and the dried variety can be used anywhere you would use a high-quality dried bean. In this dish – perfect for serving over a piece of slowly braised meat – I have enhanced their flavour by braising them in an oxtail broth, though a meat-free version made with vegetable stock would also be delicious. Cold-smoking the oxtail is optional, though it does impart a lovely flavour.

Note: Both the soaking of the peas and the salting of the shiitake mushrooms for the fermented mushroom and black garlic purée need to be done a day in advance of cooking.

Fermented Mushroom and Black Garlic Purée


  • 300 g (10-1/2 oz) shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 50 g (1-3/4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 80 g (2-3/4 oz) diced shallot
  • 20 g (3/4 oz/ 1-1/2 tablespoons) chopped inner celery stalk
  • 10 fermented black garlic cloves, peeled
  • 750 ml (25-1/2 fl oz/3 cups) Chicken Stock


  1. Slice the shiitake mushrooms and place in a vacuum-seal bag. Sprinkle over the salt, seal the bag, removing all the air, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
  2. The next day, add the butter to a saucepan and sauté the shallots and celery until translucent. Remove the mushrooms from the bag and gently squeeze out any excess liquid, then add the mushrooms to the pan along with the garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute. Pour over the chicken stock and simmer over a low heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated, then transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor or blender and blitz on high speed for 1 minute. Press the resulting purée through a fine-mesh sieve and refrigerate until needed.

Image by Anh Nhi ฤแป— Lê from Pixabay 

Umbrian Wild Peas


  • 300 g (10-1/2 oz) dried Umbrian wild peas, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 30 g (1 oz/2 tablespoons) finely diced shallot
  • 10 g (1/4 oz/1 tablespoon) finely diced garlic
  • 750 ml (25-1/2 fl oz/3 cups) Oxtail Broth


Drain the soaked peas. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan, add the shallot and garlic and sauté until translucent. Stir in the drained peas, pour over the oxtail broth and simmer over a low heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the peas are just tender to the bite but are still holding their shape.



May 16-17, 2020
Nashville, Tennessee

EVENT UPDATE: Unfortunately, we've had to postpone our Tennessee FAIR to 2021 due to COVID-19.


Become a Charter Member Today!


Discover how easy crafting your own money-saving fermented masterpieces can be. 

Become a member today and save as much as 25% off the newsstand price! Get a one-year membership for only $29.95!

As a member of the Fermentation community, you’ll also receive a passport to an array of added benefits specifically catered to food enthusiasts. It all starts with your quarterly magazine package – four handsome premium issues a year that you can confidently reference in the kitchen and proudly display on the coffee table.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Informationfermentation

click me