Adapted from Apartment Therapy Fiddleheads, asparagus, and (wild) leeks combine to form the Ultimate Ontario Springtime dish. However, weather doesn’t always like to follow recipes, so we’re a bit behind on the asparagus front (that cold snap of snow and sleet early last week sent asparagus farmers back a bit). And while we’ve included wild leeks in the box already, their season wasn’t perfectly timed with fiddleheads. So long story short – feel free to substitute the asparagus with kale, broccoli, or sautéed mushrooms and use regular leeks, onions, or shallots in place of wild leeks. It will taste just as good, and just as local! Ingredients:

  • 2 c fiddlehead ferns, well washed
  • 1 c white asparagus (or green), cut into 1" pieces
  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 leeks (or 4-6 wild leeks), chopped & washed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c arborio rice
1/2 c dry white wine (or white cooking wine)
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 c grated pecorino romano (or parmesan) cheese
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add fiddlehead ferns cook for 10-15 minutes. Drain and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil, turn down heat and keep at a low simmer.
  3. Heat 2 T butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté, 2 minutes.  [Add mushrooms, if using.] Add rice and lemon juice, cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 c simmering stock. Cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 4 minutes. Continue adding stock, 1 c at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender and creamy, 20 minutes.
  5. Add the last cup of broth, white wine, fiddlehead ferns and asparagus. Stir well.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in 1 T butter, lemon zest and cheese. Season to taste with pepper and top with walnuts.