Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fiddlehead Fern Season

Fiddlehead ferns are the unfurled fronds of a young fern, and they are a highly seasonal treat found almost exclusively in the woods of Northern New England.  They have a delicious mild fresh and woodsy flavor and are great cooked and served any way you would serve asparagus.  They grow only in the wild and are picked by foragers who guard their sources very closely.  Luckily we can get them in our little local market, because I have no idea how to find them myself.  I am told they grow in sandy soil near streams, but if I have ever come across them myself, I missed them completely!  I do look though, although I think you need to have a trained eye to see them.
We prepared ours by blanching them quickly in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes, and then tossing them with a light soy/rice vinegar dressing with toasted sesame seeds.  They were served alongside a chinese style hamburger with 5 spice powder and garlic mixed in with the meat and topped with sauteed mushrooms with hoisin sauce.  It was quite delicious, and I am hoping to pick up another batch at the market today!

1 comment:

  1. OOoooh, yum! I had some fiddleheads on Sunday, fried up on the grill at work. Such a treat! Especially since they were supposed to be for an omlette special but I convinced the chef to save enough for us to have after the shift. Didn't take much convincing! ;)