Tag Archives: Fiddlehead ferns

Oh the culinary joys of spring! Along with foraged mushrooms and tender salad greens come fiddlehead ferns. We found some at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday and I scooped up about a quarter pound, plus eight  plump, freshly foraged morel mushrooms.

Fresh fiddleheads

Last night I made a simple soup using two tablespoons of white miso, the rinsed fiddleheads and sliced morels, two cloves of crushed garlic, and a quarter-inch thick slice of fresh ginger that I diced finely. I threw all the ingredients into a small saucepan with about two cups of water and set the brew over medium-low heat for about half an hour. I didn’t even let the broth come to a simmer, keeping it at 150-155 degrees F. The vendor who sold me the fiddleheads and mushrooms said that if you cook the curled spring vegetables at too high of heat for too long they turn bitter. After 30 minutes of being gently warmed, the fiddleheads were still crunchy but cooked, and the morels were tender.

Spring soup of fiddleheads and morels

Anyhoo, the flavor of fiddleheads can be compared to asparagus. Their appearance resembles the scrolled end of a violin or fiddle. You’ll find they contain fiber, iron, potassium, omega-3s and omega-6s. If you can find them during their brief two-to-three-week growing season in the spring, do give them a try.


I knew there was something stranger looking than Kohlrabi–Fiddlehead Ferns! According to Wikipedia, fiddlehead ferns are the furled fronds of a young fern and are harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond (a leaf).

Check out the article where I found this image. Good info on Fiddleheads, and a nice blog.

And, according to the farmer at the Farmer’s Market, they can only be picked for 2 weeks….a short season, and not easy work.

I woke up at 2am thinking about this post and what I would do with my fiddlehead ferns:

Option 1: Heat a little butter and garlic in a pan, then sauté the fiddleheads for 30-45 seconds. This was a suggested preparation from the folks at the Farmer’s Market.

Option 2: Do something fancier, à la Emeril Lagasse: Fiddlehead Ferns and Angel Hair Pasta

Option 3: Since it’s now 3am, decide that something as crazy sounding as a fiddlehead fern deserves its own tongue twister

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Luckily,  I really liked option 3 because this evening, when I went to experiment with my fiddleheads, they were shoved to the back of my refrigerator and had iced over.

On the bright side, I went to my garden and was able to harvest an entire salad bowl of fresh greens. My first success of the gardening season!

First salad!

And, I’m hoping the fiddlehead ferns are still around this coming Saturday at the Farmer’s Market…I’m dying to try them WHILE reciting my Fiona forages for fiddlehead ferns tongue twister.

First planted


Salad Garden June 7