Forage Fiddlehead Ferns! Yum!

It’s the time of year to collect fiddlehead ferns. They taste somewhere between green beans and asparagus and the good news is that they’re best served simply, sautéed with a bit of butter and an allium, such as garlic, shallots, or minced onion.

If you’re buying rather than foraging, look for fresh, bright green, tightly coiled plants. Browning is a sure sign of age

To prepare for cooking, wash about 1 1/4 pounds of fiddleheads in cold water and rub away any papery “scales,” then trim the ends. Because the plants are wild, it’s wise to make sure they’re thoroughly cooked before serving, to avoid the possibility of food-borne illness. So the best method is to boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes, then sauté. They’re great as a side dish or in an omelette.

They can be padded out with mushrooms to make the side dish more of an entree. In North East India they fry them with eggs, make raw spicy salad or blanch them and make salad with crushed roasted pumpkin seeds , black pepper or green spicy pepper, olive oil, coriander, lemon, red onion etc.