Five Ferntastic Fiddlehead Recipes
It's a sure sign of spring when local fiddleheads become available! These curly ferns are an excellent foraging food, and the taste is reminiscent of asparagus, but slightly bitter. We've assembled five recipes to help inspire your fiddlehead feast! Bon Apetit.
Fiddlehead & Gruyere Tart by Closet Cooking
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, trimmed & sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 pound fiddleheads
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse and steam the fiddleheads for 10-12 minutes, or boil for 15 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, and mix in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the phyllo dough in half lengthwise, and place a sheet of the phyllo dough on a greased baking sheet - brush it with oil. Repeat with the remaining sheets, placing each on top of the last. Sprinkle the leek mixture on top of the phyllo followed by the cheese and finally the fiddleheads. Bake until the phyllo dough is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
Crispy Baked Fiddleheads with Spicy Lemon Yogurt Dipping Sauce adapted from The Gouda Life
For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from 1 lemon
Optional: dash of cayenne pepper for some spice
Directions: Steam the fiddleheads for 10-12 minutes or boil for 15 minutes - drain them in a colander in the sink and pat dry. To make the breadcrumb coating, stir together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, paprika, salt and pepper, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400F. Place the dried fiddleheads into the egg mixture and then coat them in breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Let cool. While the fiddleheads cook, whisk all the yogurt sauce ingredients together. Taste and add more salt, lemon or cayenne if needed.
Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns by Martha Stewart
1 tsp coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
Directions: Fill a medium bowl with cool water; add 1 teaspoon salt and lemon juice. Add ferns, and push them down into the water several times to clean them. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Steam fiddleheads, covered, until tender, 10-12 mins. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fiddleheads, and cook 1 to 2 mins on each side, until golden. Season with salt & pepper, to serve.
Fiddlehead & Morel Mushroom Pasta by Veggie Belly
1/2 oz. dried morel mushrooms
20 fiddleheads, rinsed
1/2 lb. pasta
3 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream (recommended) or milk
Salt and pepper
Directions: Boil water in a small pot, add dried morel mushrooms to boiling water. Immediately turn off heat. Cover and let the mushrooms soak for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain and squeeze excess liquid from the mushroom. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. In another pot, boil more water, add fiddlehead ferns and boil for about 15 minutes. Then remove from water and submerge in a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. This will stop the cooking process and keep the fiddleheads crisp and green. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water till pasta is al-dente. Don’t overcook pasta. While pasta is cooking, heat a skillet and add butter or olive oil. Add chopped garlic, thyme, and drained morel mushrooms. Cook till morels are soft. Add drained fiddleheads, cream, and 2 tablespoons of mushroom soaking liquid. Cook on low heat for about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper. For a thinner sauce, add more mushroom soaking liquid. Add the boiled pasta, toss and serve!
Fiddlehead Fern & Edamame Salad by Sea Salt with Food
1/2 lb. fiddleheads, rinsed
1/2 lb. frozen edamame
Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra salt for boiling vegetables
Directions: In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Set aside. Bring about 6 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt to a boil. Add the edamame and fiddleheads and cook for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cold running water. Drain well. Pour the lemon juice dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. To serve, top the salad with some feta cheese, some freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle some sea salt.