Thursday, May 13, 2010

Foraging Fun: Fiddlehead Ferns!

Getting bored with your green vegetables? Try Fiddlehead ferns!

In early spring, when fern heads are still lifting up their shy heads after a long winter's slumber... it is the perfect time to glean! While the fronds are still tightly coiled, they can be plucked and eaten raw on a salad, sauteed with mushrooms as a side dish, cooked in a soup, or tossed with pasta. You can basically use them as you would asparagus. The flavor is definitely complemented by some good tasting butter. (the secret of the French culinary arts!) : )

If you can't find them while foraging in the woods (be sure you know for sure which ones are edible), you will often be able to find Fiddleheads at farmer's markets or even in certain upscale or specialty grocery stores. In fact, I even saw them at a Whole Foods Market a couple of weeks ago. I'd have to say though, at $19.99 per pound, it's nice to be able to harvest them from our very own yard... 

The benefits of eating Fiddleheads?
  • Something new and interesting to make mealtime exciting! : )
  • An additional way to get greens, and therefore the cleansing, detoxifying capabilities of chlorophyll, in your diet
Additional tips:
  • Fiddleheads spoil easily, so be sure to use them as soon as possible after picking or purchasing.
  • Be sure to clean them very well, and keep rinsing until the water runs clear.
  • Cut off the stem at about two inches from the coiled portion, as the stem begins to get bitter at that point.
  • Some resources recommend cooking them well to remove any possible antinutrients or possible bacteria (less likely, I would think, when very fresh).

    Have you ever tried Fiddlehead ferns? What is your favorite way to enjoy them?

No comments:

Post a Comment