The first fresh greens of the season are out!
Fiddleheads are popping up in damp, wooded areas. Pick your own or find a farm, CSA, or co-op that sells them. Some gourmet or locavore friendly grocery stores may also carry them. I found my bounty on a walk. If you do pick your own, make sure to leave plenty of ferns unharvested to ensure their survival & reproduction.
As some outbreaks of illness have been associated with raw or lightly cooked fiddleheads, I opted to boil them for 10 minutes and then fry them with onions and mushrooms.
- about 1 ½ cups fresh fiddleheads
- 1 onions, cut in half and sliced thinly
- 2 cups crimini, baby bella or button mushrooms, sliced
- 3+ Tablespoons butter, unsalted
- salt to taste
- cider vinegar, lemon juice, or rice vinegar, about 2 Tablespoons
Rinse fiddleheads well, removing all the papery brown skin from them. Swishing them in a bowl of cold water is more effective than running water and a colander.
Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil, salting if desired. Add fiddleheads. Boil 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, head butter in frying pan. When melted, add onions and fry until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add mushrooms. Salt. Cover with lid and allow to steam & cook down for 3-5 minutes. Uncover and fry, allowing juices to evaporate. If mushrooms are soft & cooked before fiddleheads are finished boiling, remove from heat.
When fiddleheads are ready, reheat the frying pan, adding another tablespoon or so of butter if necessary (mushrooms can be greedy and absorb all of it on you) and fry for a few minutes. Just before you pull them off the heat, hit them with the vinegar or lemon juice and cook that down.
I served the fiddleheads, mushrooms, and onions with garlic mashed potatoes and tofu fried in peanut oil, then splashed with tamari and mirin (cooking rice wine).