Wednesday, June 01, 2011

fiddlehead ferns

Fiddleheads are pictured with parchment baked salmon and cous cous

Fiddlehead ferns are gaining in popularity among foodies and locavores. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that during their short gathering season, these little gems are fairly easy to find in Boston grocery stores, both at Whole Foods and the more traditional supermarkets. Catch the wave! 

If you do find them (up our way, by June you probably have to wait until next year), be sure to cook them thoroughly; an unidentified toxic substance has been rarely connected to undercooked ferns, so they need to be boiled or steamed for 10 minutes. But boy are they worth it! To me, they taste like a cross between beets (which are deliciously earthy in my opinion) and asparagus. Nate includes escargot in that list, but I wouldn't know because I don't eat slimy bugs.

Editor's note: This post is a part of Real Food WednesdayYour Green Resource, and Simple Lives Thursday.


Macarr0102 said...

Justine, thanks for putting in that bit about length of cooking time; I got sick from preparing them incorrectly.

The Lone Home Ranger said...

Oh no! Sorry to hear that, Mary Ann. I hope the "experts" are correct about the cooking time helping remove the toxins. My kids are too picky to eat them anyway. I admit asking them to eat ferns is a little ambitious. :)


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