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Fiddlehead Stir-fry to Ring in the Spring

by Leah Morgan, CCAP

If you grew up in or around a forested area, especially in the PNW, chances are you may have at least once eaten fiddleheads! But just in case you haven’t, YES, your hunch is right...these are baby ferns!

This popular (and ancient) plant is a powerhouse of Vitamins A and C – just what we need this time of year (isn’t it amazing how nature provides us with all the nutrients we need at just right time?) Y

ou won’t have to look for and wide to find these fairytale plants. Fiddleheads come from Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and are early spring risers.

Look close to the ground as they haven’t unfurled yet. As with all foraging adventures, make sure to 100% correctly identify the plant you are searching for before harvesting and eating it, and stay away from roadsides and polluted areas!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb Fiddleheads – cleaned (cut off brown fuzz and mushy bits)
  • 1 bunch asparagus – cut off the tough bottoms and cut each stem into thirds
  • 4 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Handful of chopped walnuts (or any other nut)
  • Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil and place your fiddleheads in for 2-5 minutes or until slightly tender. Do the same for the asparagus but place in water for only 2 minutes. If you have a steamer, you can also use it the way you would for veggies like broccoli.

2. In a pan, gently heat up some olive oil, and toast the crushed garlic and walnuts until fragrant. Add the blanched fiddleheads and asparagus, cooking until lightly browned.

Leah Morgan, CCAP


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