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!

Recipe by: Adapted from Apartment Therapy
Serves: 4 servings
Prep Time: Quick & Easy


2 cups fiddlehead ferns, well washed

1 cup asparagus , cut into 1" pieces

6 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons salted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, chopped and washed

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups arborio rice
1/2 c dry white wine (or white cooking wine)

the juice of 1 lemons

the zest of 1 lemons

1 cup grated pecorino romano (or parmesan) cheese

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

0 to taste medium ground black pepper

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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.