I have to say I don’t have much experience with fiddleheads. I think I’ve made them at home one other time besides this time. The first time I steamed them and dressed them with a little olive oil and lemon.
Fiddleheads are the curled shoots of an ostrich fern. The taste reminds me of asparagus but a little earthier. Other types of ferns can be toxic, as well you get sick from eating raw or undercooked fiddleheads. So don’t go running out and eating the first curled shoots you see growing in your garden! I stick to buying them from the market or the grocery store.
When preparing fiddleheads make sure you wash them properly in several changes of fresh cold water and remove as much of the brown papery husk as possible using your fingers. I don’t think I did that the first time I made them. Before eating fiddleheads, make sure you cook them in a generous amount of boiling water for 15 minutes or steam them for 10 to 12 minutes until tender. Discard the water used to for boiling or steaming them.
This was a nice simple weeknight meal. Next time I might add some pancetta because it needed more of a rich salty flavour. Add whatever fresh herbs and vegetables you have coming up in the garden or in the fridge. I used Thyme because I knew it goes nicely with mushrooms I was using.
2 Cups of fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed
¼ Cup of whipping cream
Salt and pepper
½ of Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs of butter
1 ½ Cups of mushrooms, sliced
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of fresh thyme, chopped
½ of peas, fresh or frozen
Spaghetti or fettuccini or linguini
For the pasta:
Clean and prepare fiddlehead as explained in directions above.
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook pasta unil al dente.
In a small bowl beat eggs until smooth, stir in cream, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese and set aside.
In a large skillet melt butter over low heat. Cook mushrooms, garlic and thyme for about 5 minutes or until mushroom are tender, stirring occasionally. Add fiddlehead and peas and sate for about 3 minutes.
Drain pasta and add to fiddlehead mixture. Remove from heat. Pour egg mixture over top and toss. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.