why chefs love fiddlehead ferns
Fiddlehead fern season is here! Beloved by chefs, these spring treats are blooming into the realm of home cooking. They’re available for only a few weeks, so you need to act fast.
Grassy, crunchy, and slightly earthy, some describe fiddlehead ferns as a cross between asparagus and spinach. To us, they simply taste like spring. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamin A for immunity support, helping to keep you healthy throughout the season.
Ready to take advantage of the harvest? Here’s how to clean, cook, and capture the unique flavor of fiddleheads.
How to Prepare
Fiddleheads are harvested from a range of fern species and some varieties can be toxic when eaten raw. Don’t worry, they’re 100% safe to eat (and delicious) once they’re washed and blanched.
You’ll want to start by discarding any ferns with soft and/or brown spots. The remaining coils should be bright green and tightly wound, as pictured above. Rinse them under cool water, wash away any dirt or papery scales, and remove the stem with a paring knife.
How to Cook
Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and blanch for a minimum of five minutes. You’ll know they’re ready once they’re crisp-tender. Remove the fiddleheads with a slotted spoon and, voilà, they’re ready to be cooked!
Pro tip: Once they’re thoroughly blanched, fiddlehead ferns are a perfect star in your spring salad!
How to Sauté
Melt butter in a large sauté pan. Once foamy, add garlic and shallots. Use a wooden spoon to stir. Once aromatic, add blanched fiddleheads. Sauté for a few minutes, until fully coated and lightly browned. Serve with salt and pepper.
How to Roast
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread blanched fiddleheads onto a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and desired seasonings. Roast for 10-14 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Yum! Now, it’s time to get cooking with these phenomenal fiddlehead fern recipes!
Photo from Olive and Mango
02 Fiddlehead and Mushroom Galette with Caramelized Onion Ricotta from Olive and Mango
Feeling inspired? Tag us @bristolfarms – we can’t wait to see your creations.