Cooking with Fiddleheads Ferns

Ah, Fiddleheads ferns!  Their  bright green color and tightly coiled heads remind us that winter is over but what do we do with them?

With a nutty, bitter flavor, Fiddleheads lend themselves to many of the same preparations as asparagus. Enjoy them sautéed with garlic or served steamed with a nice vinaigrette.  Here are three simple ways to add them to your plate!  

 Cooking with  Fiddleheads Ferns

Cleaning Your Fiddleheads
Fiddleheads are a wild fern so it’s very important to clean all the fiddleheads fully.  Rinse completely and then put into a bowl of cold water. Fiddleheads have an outer skin like an onion and you’ll have to remove all of this skin. Chop off the stems and prepare for cooking.  

  • Add the cleaned fiddleheads to your steamer basket. 
  • Pour in one inch of water into the steamer and bring to a boil.
  • Add the steamer basket full of the fiddleheads to the steamer being sure not to immerse them in the water.
  • Steam them for about 5 minutes. 
  • Drain and serve them hot with butter, or cold with vinaigrette.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed Fiddleheads

  • In a skillet, melt 3 tbsp. of butter per 1 lb. of fiddleheads. Keep the stove at medium heat.
  • When the butter melts, put the fiddleheads in the skillet and continually stir them so that the heat and butter soften the fiddleheads.  (garlic is a tasty option).   
  • Once they’re tender, remove them from the pan and serve.

Boiled Fiddleheads

  • Add cleaned fiddleheads to a stockpot with water (3 cups of water per 1 lb. of fiddleheads) 
  • Bring the pot to a full boil until the fiddleheads are tender, about 6-8 minutes. 
  • When they’re tender, drain in a colander; then serve adding butter, pepper and salt if desired.