Simple and delicious, this sautéed fiddleheads recipe is a limited time delicacy you can't afford to miss.
Only available for a short few weeks every spring, these delicious greens are the still coiled fronds of ferns. While all ferns develop fiddleheads when they sprout in the spring, not all fiddleheads are edible. Many varieties of fern are quite toxic and carcinogenic. Ostrich ferns are typically the ones that make it to the grocery isle.
For anyone unfamiliar with these gems, they have a "spring green" sort of flavour that's a bit nutty and akin to a cross between asparagus and baby spinach. Sautéing them using the directions below will bring out a sweetness that is sure to put these on your list of favoured greens.
Though sautéing is a simple preparation for fiddleheads, it's certainly not the only way to prepare them; however, it does provide a good introduction. All fiddleheads must be cooked. Though the ones you can buy at the grocer are edible, they still have a mild toxicity when raw. It's also best not to overindulge either as eating large quantities can cause digestive upset.
Despite that, these are always on my spring shopping list, and I look forward to their appearance each year. Once you try them, I hope you will too.
(Makes 4 servings)
1 lb fresh fiddleheads, washed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plant-based butter
In a 4-quart stockpot over high heat, add the salt, and enough water to fill the pot 3/4 full. Bring to a boil.
Rinse the fiddleheads well in cold water two to three times, agitating to remove dirt along with any brown film that might still be covering the coiled fern head. Trim the ends then place into the boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes.
Drain and place the fiddleheads in a bowl lined with paper towel. Pat dry and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the fiddleheads, working in batches if required, and sauté until they begin to brown and slightly crisp.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 43 | total fat = 1.55g | saturated fat = 0.6g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 174mg | net carbohydrates = 5.17g | dietary fibre = 2.63g | sugars = 0g | protein = 0.21g