I’ve wanted to get my hands on fiddleheads since my enamoration with wild food first began. If you are among those who don’t know about this delectable little spring treat, please allow me to enlighten you 😉
A fiddlehead is the furled frond of the young ostrich fern. They appear in the spring and are harvested as a vegetable. As always, it is important to ethically harvest this tasty little gift from Mama Earth, as you don’t want to affect the population of the species.
If you do not know the ‘rules’ for wild-harvesting do check them out before you head out to gather wild food. One of the most important guidelines to follow with fiddleheads is to be certain that you don’t collect all the fronds from a single plant. This will result in death of the plant. And that is a pretty crappy trade-off for the gift that this generous little green ally brings to your plate 😦
Where I am living in northern Maine these delicious little morsels are wild-harvested and then sold by the roadside and in local markets. And as much as I love ‘collecting grub’ from the wild, I haven’t had much time lately so that works out perfectly for me! I get fresh-picked fiddleheads. And foragers get a little cash in their pocket. Win! Win!
The batch that inspired this post was picked up at a self-serve roadside stand. I saw them on my way up north and passed them by because I didn’t really have room in my schedule for meal preparation at all, and uncovering how to cook fiddleheads felt burdensome.
But hose fiddleheads stayed in my head through the whole trip. Lucky for me, the stand was still there on my way home. So I grabbed a bag full of fiddleheads and went back home to figure out just what I was going to do with them.
I discovered that you have to cook them down before you can eat them. I’ve learned that this is the case with many wild foods. If fiddleheads are eaten raw one can get quite the case of indigestion from them.
So I put them on the stove in a pot of water, heated it up to boiling, and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
After that I took the easy way out because it was late and I was hungry, LOL!
I sautéed them in butter, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. When they were done I squeezed just a tiny bit of lemon juice on them, gave them a toss, and voila … deliciousness was mine.
They are crazy tasty! Like really crazy tasty!
They taste very much like asparagus to me. Like really very much like asparagus. And I’m a big fan of asparagus ❤
My son and I enjoyed them that evening, but you’re not supposed to eat too many at a time until you are sure your stomach doesn’t react the them (another common wild food rule). So, we had plenty left over. And when I woke up in the morning I couldn’t wait to get another crack at them.
So, the first fiddlehead omelet ever was made in my kitchen that morning. Fiddleheads, tomatoes, grilled onions, and swiss cheese = heaven ❤ Just sayin’.
I have another bunch of these little babies in the fridge right now and I’m looking at breading and deep frying them. I’ve had a few locals tell me that I won’t be disappointed if I prepare them that way. I think they’re right. I just can’t decide if I want to serve them with a butter garlic parmesan sauce or a bit of siracha mayo?
But a decision will have to be made. Unless, of course, I choose both 😉
Have you ever had fiddleheads? And if so, how were they prepared?
Did you like them? Would you eat them again? We loved them! And will likely eat them often from now on ❤
Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say 😉
As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤