Sautéed Fiddleheads (serves 4-6)

  • 3 cups fiddleheads
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice and zest from 1 organic lemon
  • kosher salt

Spring has sprung – so it’s time to try a new seasonal veggie!  Fiddleheads are the curled edible shoots of the ostrich fern – which start to pop up along rivers and streams in April and May.  With a similar flavour to asparagus – you can treat them and pair them accordingly.  Yummy when precooked and added to eggs, pasta or grain dishes, they also make a lovely side dish for a piece of pan-fried lake trout, halibut or branzino.

Here’s a very simple presentation that shows them off:

Pick any brown papery bits off the outside of the fiddleheads (these are the husks), and wash very well in water to remove any dirt or debris.  Bring 1.5 L water to boil in a medium-large and boil fiddleheads until brighter in colour and slightly tender – about 10 minutes.  Drain well.  (Note:  fiddleheads should be cooked thoroughly and should NOT be eaten raw.  We’re going to finish cooking them in a pan, but otherwise you’d steam/boil for closer to 15 mins.)  Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil and allow to heat another 30-60 seconds.  Add fiddleheads, garlic, lemon juice and zest (I like a microplane for it’s fine soft zest) and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for about 4-5 minutes and finish with a touch more salt.