Authentic Fiddleheads

Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
10,686
#1
I just picked my first fiddleheads of the season. I have a nice little patch down by the stream near the back of my property. Fiddleheads are the unfurled heads of Ostrich Ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, which grown in damp shady areas, most often along river beds, in my neck of the woods. According to Wikipedia,
"It is a crown-forming, colony-forming plant, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in central and northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America. The species epithet struthiopteris comes from Ancient Greek words, struthio meaning ostrich and pterion meaning wing.
It grows from a completely vertical crown, favoring riverbanks and sandbars, but sends out lateral stolons to form new crowns. It thus can form dense colonies resistant to destruction by floodwaters."
We should have a late crop this year, due to all the flooding in my province.

Fiddleheads have been eaten for centuries, as they are one of the first crops to emerge in the spring. The tightly furled heads have been part traditional diets in much of Northern France since the beginning of the Middle Ages, across Asia, and also among Native Americans. I cannot prove it, but I would bet many of New England soldiers grew up eating fiddleheads, and dreamed of them in the spring when they were far from home.

Fiddleheads are labour intensive to prepare as they must be shaken to dispose of as much of the brown husk as possible, and then rinsed at least three times to remove any remaining husk and any dirt. They are worth the effort.
fiddlehead-food-fern-spring-551x550.jpg
(Jane's Healthy Food)
Fiddleheads that are ready to be picked. You can see how they got their name.

.
220px-Fiddleheads_Crosses_de_foug%C3%A8re.jpg
(Wikipedia)
Freshly picked fiddleheads, head to cook.

Acoording to New England Today, " They’re best served simply, sautéed with a bit of butter and an allium, such as garlic, shallots, or minced onion. Here’s a favorite fiddleheads recipe that’s both easy and flavorful.

To prepare them for cooking, wash about 1 1/4 pounds of fiddleheads in cold water and rub away any papery “scales,” then trim the ends. Because the plants are wild, it’s wise to make sure they’re thoroughly cooked before serving, to avoid the possibility of food-borne illness. So the best method is to boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes, then sauté.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-boil-720x611.jpg

Boiling in salted water not only imparts flavor, it ensures that the fiddleheads are thoroughly and safely cooked.

Amy Traverso

While the fiddleheads are boiling, I like to brown some butter in a skillet. I like the nutty flavor that browning imparts, and the method couldn’t be simpler: Simply melt 3 tablespoons over medium-heat and let it cook until the milk solids in the butter turn a nice chestnut brown color.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-brownbutter-720x480.jpg

The finished browned butter. Browned butter makes a great addition to this fiddlehead recipe.

Amy Traverso

For oniony flavor, I like to add another wild spring edible: ramps, also known as wild leeks. The finely chopped stems from 5 plants is sufficient (the leaves have a more vegetal flavor, so I leave those out).

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-ramps-720x480.jpg

Use ramp stems as you would garlic or scallions.

Amy Traverso

Sauté the ramp stems for 4 to 5 minutes in the browned butter.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-saute-720x480.jpg

The stems will flavor the butter. Cook them over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

Amy Traverso

Drain the cooked fiddleheads and add them to the skillet with the butter and ramps. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes to blend the flavors, then serve.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-finished-720x510.jpg

Fiddleheads, simply cooked.

Amy Traverso

To turn this side dish fiddleheads recipe into a full meal, you can sauté 2 chopped portobello mushrooms in 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until they begin to caramelize.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-mushrooms-720x480.jpg

As the mushrooms cook, their edges become brown and crisp.

Add the cooked fiddleheads to these mushrooms and stir in the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraîche. Top with a piece of roasted salmon and you have dinner.

sauteed-fiddleheads-recipe-521x650.jpg

Paired with roasted salmon, this fiddleheads recipe yields a delicious spring meal (I used the thinly sliced ramp leaves as a garnish).

https://newengland.com/today/food/side-dishes/vegetables/easy-fiddleheads-recipe/
 

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Mrs. V

First Sergeant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
1,378
#4
I just picked my first fiddleheads of the season. I have a nice little patch down by the stream near the back of my property. Fiddleheads are the unfurled heads of Ostrich Ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, which grown in damp shady areas, most often along river beds, in my neck of the woods. According to Wikipedia,
"It is a crown-forming, colony-forming plant, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in central and northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America. The species epithet struthiopteris comes from Ancient Greek words, struthio meaning ostrich and pterion meaning wing.
It grows from a completely vertical crown, favoring riverbanks and sandbars, but sends out lateral stolons to form new crowns. It thus can form dense colonies resistant to destruction by floodwaters."
We should have a late crop this year, due to all the flooding in my province.

Fiddleheads have been eaten for centuries, as they are one of the first crops to emerge in the spring. The tightly furled heads have been part traditional diets in much of Northern France since the beginning of the Middle Ages, across Asia, and also among Native Americans. I cannot prove it, but I would bet many of New England soldiers grew up eating fiddleheads, and dreamed of them in the spring when they were far from home.

Fiddleheads are labour intensive to prepare as they must be shaken to dispose of as much of the brown husk as possible, and then rinsed at least three times to remove any remaining husk and any dirt. They are worth the effort.
fiddlehead-food-fern-spring-551x550.jpg
(Jane's Healthy Food)
Fiddleheads that are ready to be picked. You can see how they got their name.

.
220px-Fiddleheads_Crosses_de_foug%C3%A8re.jpg
(Wikipedia)
Freshly picked fiddleheads, head to cook.

Acoording to New England Today, " They’re best served simply, sautéed with a bit of butter and an allium, such as garlic, shallots, or minced onion. Here’s a favorite fiddleheads recipe that’s both easy and flavorful.

To prepare them for cooking, wash about 1 1/4 pounds of fiddleheads in cold water and rub away any papery “scales,” then trim the ends. Because the plants are wild, it’s wise to make sure they’re thoroughly cooked before serving, to avoid the possibility of food-borne illness. So the best method is to boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes, then sauté.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-boil-720x611.jpg

Boiling in salted water not only imparts flavor, it ensures that the fiddleheads are thoroughly and safely cooked.

Amy Traverso

While the fiddleheads are boiling, I like to brown some butter in a skillet. I like the nutty flavor that browning imparts, and the method couldn’t be simpler: Simply melt 3 tablespoons over medium-heat and let it cook until the milk solids in the butter turn a nice chestnut brown color.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-brownbutter-720x480.jpg

The finished browned butter. Browned butter makes a great addition to this fiddlehead recipe.

Amy Traverso

For oniony flavor, I like to add another wild spring edible: ramps, also known as wild leeks. The finely chopped stems from 5 plants is sufficient (the leaves have a more vegetal flavor, so I leave those out).

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-ramps-720x480.jpg

Use ramp stems as you would garlic or scallions.

Amy Traverso

Sauté the ramp stems for 4 to 5 minutes in the browned butter.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-saute-720x480.jpg

The stems will flavor the butter. Cook them over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

Amy Traverso

Drain the cooked fiddleheads and add them to the skillet with the butter and ramps. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes to blend the flavors, then serve.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-finished-720x510.jpg

Fiddleheads, simply cooked.

Amy Traverso

To turn this side dish fiddleheads recipe into a full meal, you can sauté 2 chopped portobello mushrooms in 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until they begin to caramelize.

How-to-cook-fiddleheads-mushrooms-720x480.jpg

As the mushrooms cook, their edges become brown and crisp.

Add the cooked fiddleheads to these mushrooms and stir in the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraîche. Top with a piece of roasted salmon and you have dinner.

sauteed-fiddleheads-recipe-521x650.jpg

Paired with roasted salmon, this fiddleheads recipe yields a delicious spring meal (I used the thinly sliced ramp leaves as a garnish).

https://newengland.com/today/food/side-dishes/vegetables/easy-fiddleheads-recipe/
Oh yum! They had some at the store the other day, they were kinda spendy, but this looks really good! Thanks, I will let you know if I try it..oh, they also had ramps. First had those from a farmers market. Hmmm, Good!
 
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