What to do With Fiddleheads?

Fresh Fiddleheads If you've heard about fiddleheads and want to get into action, join the crowds of gourmands and seasoned cooks. They have long use this spring-time delicacy to good effect. Because they're available only a few weeks in spring...

Fresh Fiddleheads
Fresh Fiddleheads

If you've heard about fiddleheads and want to get into action, join the crowds of gourmands and seasoned cooks. They have long use this spring-time delicacy to good effect. Because they're available only a few weeks in spring , they are pricey but then, fiddlehead lovers will go to great extent to procure them. Fiddleheads (thus named because they look like the curled end of a fiddle) come from Ostrich ferns and they must be picked at the right time, just before the curls unfurled and the fronds are still tight with a robust green color.

Gently cook fiddleheads before using in any dish. They taste like asparagus and can be used in any dish that uses asparagus. To clean fiddleheads, rinse them in cold water, peeling off the brown papery flakes until the water runs clear. Then blanch them in hot boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes and immediately shock them in ice-cold bath. This helps to keep the color and preserve its crispness. The fiddleheads are ready for use in stir-fries, salads, as a pizza topping, on the grill or toss with pasta. Here are two recipes to start you off:

Fiddlehead stir fry with bamboo over glass noodles
Fiddlehead stir fry with bamboo over glass noodles

Fiddlehead Stir-fry

Fiddlehead stir-fry is easy to make and tasty to boot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fiddleheads, blanched
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A wedge of lemon to squeeze
  • Slivers of almonds for crunch
  • Optional: bamboo, rice or glass noodles

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet.
  2. Add chopped garlic and saute until lightly brown.
  3. Add blanched fiddleheads to the skillet. Saute for a minute or two until well-mixed.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Dish it out, add a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle with almond slivers.
  6. Serve warm over glass noodles or with steak, pork or lamb.

Beets and Fiddlehead Salad with Lemon and Thyme Dressing

Fiddlehead salad
Fiddlehead salad

Nothing says spring like a light, earthy green salad. This dish taps the best tokens of spring favorites to wow with their zest, favor and crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fiddleheads, cleaned and blanched
  • 1 cup fresh greens
  • 3-4 beets roasted or pickled, sliced
  • 5 to 6 kumquats, thinly sliced
  • A handful of thyme, finely chopped
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 ts mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese

Directions

  1. Put fiddlehead, greens, sliced kumquats into a large mixing bowl.
  2. To make dressing, add chopped thyme, lemon juice, olive oil and mustard into a bowl and whisk together. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add dressing to salad and toss well.
  4. Top with crumbled feta cheese and serve chilled.

Dont' forget to scout out your local farmer's market for a fresh batch of fiddleheads and wow your family and guests with your cooking savvy. For more information on how to use fiddleheads, contact us. We also carry a wide selection of kitchen ware to help you be the best cook possible.