peppered fiddleheads & linguine

In brunch, culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, lunch, side dishes, vegan, vegetarian on 05.26.11 at 9:02 pm

gramma knows best. :) so i went shopping for organic goodies at the local farmers’ market with one of my besties (who i affectionately refer to as gramma — long story) and she persuaded me to pick up some fresh fiddleheads. ah yes, peer pressure at the farmers’ market — true story.

“fiddlehead? what’s that?”, i asked. gramma proceeded to tell me a story about the olden days (as grammas typically do) when she used to harvest wild fiddleheads (basically, young fern fronds) along the creek near her family’s eastcoast homestead. and how fiddleheads — a delicacy only available during a short season each year — bring back fond memories of the good life growing up in the maritimes. so naturally (read: i’m a sucker for nostalgia), i brought home some fiddleheads from the market that day.

ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite nostalgia that swayed me to the fiddlehead, but more so the prospect of yet another culinary experiment. and the food styling potential of this vibrant green veggie. (i’m so predictable.) ok, enough babbling, onto the recipe…

fiddleheads are harvested in the wild, so it’s not a good idea to eat them raw or undercooked. check out these food safety tips for fiddleheads from health canada.

prep veggies:
– 1 large shallot (rough chop)
– 1.5 cups fiddleheads (washed well, remove browned ends)

(tip: remove brown husk from fiddleheads and wash them several times under cold running water to remove any excess dirt or husk.)

boil, sauté & simmer:
– bring pot of water to a boil & cook fiddleheads for 15min
– remove boiled fiddleheads from pot & discard water used for boiling
– rinse & drain boiled fiddleheads with fresh running water in colander
– heat up 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (evoo) in saucepan on medium heat
– add shallot to saucepan & cook until slightly browned
– add boiled fiddleheads to pan w/ dash of sea salt
– drizzle 2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar & dash of evoo
– season w/ ground black peppercorns to taste
– sauté fiddleheads for approx 5-6min on medium heat until slightly browned and fiddlehead ends begin to unravel
– reduce to low heat & simmer for 1min or so. remove from heat.

food styling:
– plate a generous helping of sauteed peppered fiddleheads on a small serving of your fave linguine (al dente)
– season w/ ground black peppercorns to taste

sit back, enjoy your eastcoast-inspired meal and reminisce about green gables & all things charming about the maritimes. :)

  1. Oh my goodness, we have 4 giant ferns growing in our back yard at home – wonder if I will be brave enough to give this recipe a try when we get back home.
    What would you say they taste like? Anything to compare them to?
    :-) Mandy


    • fiddleheads have an earthy taste to them. i’ve heard that they taste fantastic sauteed in butter & onions! would love to hear what you think of fiddleheads when you try them… be brave! :)


  2. I’ve never seen those here and every time I see them on a food blog I want them. Another great recipe, sniff, sniff.:)


  3. I’ve never heard of fiddleheads before, but they definitely look interesting! Awesome job. I’m with Mandy–what exactly do they taste like?


  4. Your recipe sounds much like mine, only without the linguine. Yummy! I’ll have to try that next year.


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