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Fiddleheads…end of the season!

I think it’s officially over. Fiddlehead season, that is! I went to the Farmer’s market last Friday and bought my last batch of fiddleheads until next year. My family has only recently been enamored with this early Spring delicacy. We tried them many, many years ago and although our friends assured us they were delicious, we didn’t agree. We had just moved to Maine and figured it was an acquired taste. My husband thought they tasted like grass! Then, last year, I tried them again – only I added a bit more flavor this time by using garlic and balsamic vinegar. We now love these little green ferns.

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #4198, Facts on Fiddleheads, they are the young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern that grow on the banks of rivers, streams and brooks in late April, May and early June. It is advised not to eat them raw. They are best when fresh, but can also be frozen or pickled to preserve them for later enjoyment. Maybe next year, I’ll try a different way to prepare them and fall in love all over again…

I know they grow in New England, but I’d love to hear where else you can find them. Please leave me a comment and we can track them everywhere! Enjoy!

Saute’ed Fiddleheads

3 cups fresh fern fiddleheads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper to taste

Clean fiddleheads thoroughly. Rinse well and remove brown, papery fronds. Trim ends. In a large saute’ pan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Add garlic and saute’ briefly. Add cleaned fiddleheads and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm. Makes 3-4 servings.


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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Side Dishes

 

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