What to do with Fiddleheads?

Fiddlehead Arugula Salad

One of the most joyous culinary moments of the year for me is the arrival of the season’s first fiddleheads. It’s among the first of the “just-picked” cooking rituals that will continue to unfold until late autumn. Each year I repeat the simplest of preparation techniques for my first fiddleheads of the season: blanch (cook in boiling water) for 4–5 minutes; drain well; sauté briefly with butter or olive oil and salt. Simple, elegant, and delicious. Then I move on to soups with fiddleheads. Last week, Amy and I were inspired to create a new dish, Fiddlehead Arugula Salad. We wandered the aisles of the Creamery and gathered ingredients that “spoke to us.” We found some fresh and crisp arugula, organic hazelnuts that had just arrived (now less expensive than many of the other nuts), perfect ricotta salata cheese from Italy, and some Cattani white balsamic vinegar and aged Castello d’Este balsamic vinegar that had just been featured in our vinegar tasting. With the addition of a couple of other standard Creamery ingredients, we prepared a stupendously delicious salad! We enjoyed it so much, I’m going to prepare it again for lunch today.

♦  Print Recipe: Fiddlehead Arugula Salad [Vg/GF/WF] 

Vegetarian (V) | Vegan (Vg) | Nut-Free (NF) | Gluten-Free (GF) | Wheat-Free (WF)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alice Cozzolino

Alice has been co-owner of The Old Creamery since 2000.  She and her partner and spouse, Amy, have lived in Cummington since they built their home in 1986.  Alice and Amy are very deeply connected to their land; they grow a lot of their own food, eat well (especially during the growing season), feed many friends and loved ones and preserve as much food as possible.  Rarely a day goes by that they don’t say “Aren’t we blessed to live here?” Feeding people feels like a calling to Alice.  She was brought up with her Italian Gram and her Dad putting something wonderful to eat in her mouth and saying “Here, eat this.”  Nothing brings her greater joy than feeding people that she cares about or people that are in need of kindness and nurturing.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Dana Moos]

4 Comments

  1. heatherkatsoulis848 said,

    May 8, 2012 at 12:02 am

    i used to love fiddleheads until i ate a bunch raw, big mistake. it’s important to know even the edible fiddleheads have shikimic acid, a mild poison to humans, and must be removed by blanching or cooking.

    maybe i’ll give ‘em another go this spring; it’s been, like, 15 years… :)

  2. May 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Oh,yes! Do try them again! They sound especially yummy with hazelnuts as Alice prepares them here!

  3. May 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Whoops, hide them under my napkin.

  4. May 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fiddleheads showed up often on my plate. I used to hid them under my napkin. Perhaps I should rethink them :)


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