At the market today I noticed a basket of fiddlehead ferns. I love this nutrient dense, earthy, evanescent delicacy that only appears for 2 weeks in early spring here in the East. As a forager (sort of) I get excited when I see budding, tender spring greens that I can use to celebrate the long anticipated arrival of spring!
Not surprisingly, early spring greens like these fiddlehead ferns are packed with nutrition. They are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and have twice the anti-oxidant content as blueberries – that’s a lot!
Fiddleheads may be treated like asparagus and are reminiscent of asparagus, artichokes and/or stringbeans. You want to keep things simple in order to preserve the fresh, subtle taste of the ferns.
How to Pick Fiddlehead Ferns
Fiddleheads are the young, furled fronds of the ostrich fern. Pick out the ones that have a bright green color, are tightly wound and firm, with no yellow, brown or mushy spots. I don’t like my greens to have long stems, so pick the ones that have only an inch or two of stem as these will be the most tender. Trim the ends of the stems.
These greens are delicate so it is best to use them right away.
In Indonesia, fiddlehead ferns are used in a dish with spicy coconut sauce called gulai paku. This seemed complicated and I was eager to try out my bottle of coconut ghee from Pure Ghee. I came up with this simple sauce and it is delicious!
Coconut Ghee Curried Fiddlehead Ferns
Ingredients for Cleaning
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
- 3 Tbsp coconut ghee (where to buy)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (where to buy salt and spices)
- 1/8 tsp curry
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp mustard (where to buy)
- Set up the steamer in a pot with about 1 inch water
- Bring the water to a boil
- While you are waiting for the water to boil, fill the bowl with water and add the sea salt and lemon juice
- Soak the fiddleleads in the bowl for 5 – 6 minutes and clean them by shaking them around
- Place the fiddleheads in the steamer and cook for 5 minutes (use a timer), more if they are large – until soft but still crisp
- Remove steamer from the pot and place on a plate
- Heat the coconut ghee in the fry pan and mix in the mustard, salt, curry and pepper
- Place the fiddleheads in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side or until lightly browned and soft
- Serve immediately
- You could also serve them cold
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 – 7 minutes
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