Despite being a fan of cold weather and winter, there’s always an eager anticipation for the transition into spring. It’s the warmth of the sunshine and the refreshing change of pace. For some, that might involve hiking, going to a tulip festival, or having the first beach day of the year. But for many others, it’s the arrival of spring vegetables and fruits.
One of the most highly anticipated spring vegetables is the fiddlehead. What makes this odd, coiled vegetable so unique–aside from its uncanny resemblance of a violin scroll–is that it’s foraged from the forest, not cultivated. The flavour is reminiscent of a combination of asparagus, okra, and green beans with a mild and pleasant bitterness.
Although you might be excited to find fiddleheads on the forest floor during a hike–and as delicious as they may be–we strongly advise against eating them raw. Eating raw or undercooked fiddlehead can often lead to severe indigestion. However, when these beautiful greens are properly prepared, they can be tasty and are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B2 and B3, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
A popular way to cook fiddleheads is to boil them before sauteing them. Sure, it’s one extra step to preparing this vibrant green vegetable, but it’s well worth it!
How to properly prepare fiddleheads:
- Prepare a bowl of water to soak and wash the fiddleheads thoroughly. Remove any brown, papery bits of the vegetable, as well as any soil that may be stuck inside the ferns.
- Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the washed fiddleheads and cook for 10 minutes.
- Drain out as much water as possible, and lightly pat dry on paper towels.
- Add oil to a pan over high heat. Add the garlic and stir for ten seconds before adding the boiled fiddleheads. You can also add any optional spice or flavours like soy sauce, sesame oil, or fresh lime juice as you would in a stir-fry. Saute for 3-5 minutes before serving.
Have you tried fiddleheads before? We would love to know how you prepare this beloved ephemeral spring vegetable. Share with us in the comments!
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