Fiddleheads

I’m embracing all spring has to offer and that includes trying some new foods. I’ve never had fiddleheads and when I saw them in the grocery store, I pounced.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them, so I checked Martha’s site. Her only recipe was to steam them and put butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice on them, so that is what I did. They weren’t bad, but I think you have to get used to them. They are a bit like asparagus, which can have  a strong flavor.

I did a little research after we had them and learned some interesting facts. Fiddleheads are actually ferns that have not yet unfurled. They’re named fiddleheads because they look like the curved top end of a fiddle. They have to be cooked to be edible (when I steamed them, the steaming water turned brown which was kind of icky!). I found some recipes here and will definitely try some of those in the future.

My next spring food experiment? Ramps!

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13 Responses to Fiddleheads

  1. Lyndsey says:

    I had these when I was in New Zealand. I saw another post just the other day on many ways to use fiddleheads. I’ll get the link for you. I’ve been trying a lot of new and different things too. I love to hear about it.

  2. Alene says:

    Hi!! My husband has bought fiddleheads a few times. We have tried and tried, but they don’t do it for us. I think the best way was sauteed in butter and garlic. Let me know if you come up with something better. As a major veg. lover, I just don’t get it!!

  3. Alene says:

    One more thing. I do have Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse veggies cookbook. I’ll check that and let you know.

  4. marthaandme says:

    They weren’t great – a bit bitter maybe is the best way to describe it.

  5. Frugal Kiwi says:

    Pikopiko or bush asparagus is a traditional Maori version of this. I’ve been wanting to try it, but haven’t run across any for sale yet.

  6. marthaandme says:

    Interesting! That would be fun to try.

  7. Alexandra says:

    I’ve seen these at the veggie shop and not yet dared to buy them. Will wait to hear back on your second recipe suggestion perhaps ….

  8. marthaandme says:

    I was at the grocery store today and they didn’t have any so I’m wondering if the brief season is over. I’ll check the farmer’s market this weekend. I wish I could just pick some myself in a field nearby!

  9. Karen Bannan says:

    I got these once in my CSA box! I’ll be honest: I threw them out! Too strange for me.

    Maybe this year I will try some of the recipes you linked to!

  10. Sheryl says:

    I fell in love with fiddleheads when I had them in a restaurant a few years ago. But when I tried to cook them myself, they were not anywhere as good. I wonder if there’s a real secret to it.

  11. marthaandme says:

    There’s a restaurant in our area called Fiddleheads. I’m going to have to explore other methods of cooking them. I suspect it is all going to be about the sauce since by themselves they are not fantastic.

  12. Now you have officially taught me something new because I didn’t even know these were a food.

  13. I’ve never even seen these at the grocery store. I think, like Alexandra, I’ll wait until you find some great recipe before I pick them up myself.

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