Week 24: Fiddleheads

14 Jun

I’ve been wanting to try fiddleheads since my friend Audrey suggested them. She worked at Whole Foods and said that people bought them all the time and they were really cool looking. At the grocery store they put a crazy looking scoop in the bin with the fiddleheads and you kind of sift the fiddleheads on that and put as many as you’d like into your bag.

When I got home, I did some googling to figure out how to best eat a fiddlehead and learned that you really can’t eat them raw – they can make you sick. So, a little freaked out, I began cooking them. Following wiki-how, I went step by step:

  1. Place the fiddleheads in a bowl of water and swirl to wash thoroughly. Remove any yellow or brown skin.
  2. Remove the fiddleheads from the water, taking care to avoid the particles floating in the water. Do not eat fiddleheads raw like other vegetables! They must be cooked to be edible; some people may become ill by eating raw fiddleheads.
  3. Place the fiddleheads in boiling water to blanch for 15 minutes; or steam for 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Fry for a few minutes in a frying pan with butter or oil if preferred, provided that they have been boiled or steamed first.
  5. Enjoy with butter and salt, or in a recipe. (Almost any recipe calling for asparagus will work well with fiddleheads.)
I steamed the crap out of these fiddleheads, convinced that they were still raw and we were all going to die. Ok, maybe not, but you get the point – I was fastidious about the steaming. Then I topped them with some lemon juice, and voila!
They tasted very asparagus-like. I liked them, but I’m not sure I would buy them again instead of asparagus – they are more expensive and the excessive cooking to avoid dying stressed me out a little.
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3 Responses to “Week 24: Fiddleheads”

  1. Dana June 15, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    I think the fiddleheads are only a problem once they unfurl. I like to make them this way: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fiddlehead-ferns-and-angel-hair-pasta-recipe/index.html

  2. Laura June 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    i’ve always wondered what they taste like! they look like they should kill you

  3. Jen S. June 16, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Ha ha ha – as I was reading all of those scary directions, I was thinking, “Is this really worth all the effort?” I guess not!

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