Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns is the perfect way to highlight these gorgeous seasonal gems.
Have you ever had fiddleheads? Depending on where you live you might not even know what they are. Fiddleheads are actually ferns that are used as vegetables. You can find them in grocery stores and farmers’ markets, but they are very seasonal and disappear fast.
From a nutrition standpoint, fiddleheads really are a superfood. They are a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre.
As a child, I remember my mom actually going off into the woods and picking fresh ones. The first time she did this I thought she brought weeds home for us to eat. This wild produce was certainly much different than the morel mushrooms she would pick.
If you have never had them, let me try to explain what they are like. They sort of have the texture of asparagus with an earthy flavour. They are very fragile, meaning they don’t keep long, so it’s best you use them as soon as possible. You can find frozen ones in the grocery store as well.
Fiddleheads have to be cooked before you can eat them. It is not advised to eat them raw as they can contain bacteria, so cooking them will kill off any that may be on them.
The most common way to cook fiddleheads is boil and then sauté them. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like boiled veggies. For some reason, my mom always boiled vegetables. I don’t know if it was the generation or what, but that was the norm in my house. Although I loved my mom’s cooking (and still miss it to this day), my kitchen sees very little boiled veggies. Yes, I boil potatoes before I turn them into creamy delightful mashed potatoes (a holiday must for gravy), but other than that, steamed, grilled or roasted is the way to go for me.
I just love when the vegetable speaks for itself, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time and fuss to produce a wonderful tasting dish. These Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns perfectly showcase how wonderful simple food can taste. With everyone usually having busy lives, it’s nice to know you can have tasty dishes without a lot of effort.
I am always excited to find these in the store or market. Unlike my mom, I have yet to venture into the woods to pick them for myself. I try to make sure I get my seasonal fill when these are available. I think they are the cutest little things ever.
I start by washing the fiddleheads (several times) and then patting dry. I also trim any dry stalk and remove any brown on the fern itself. If you use these as soon as possible, you will avoid having to remove very much from them. The longer they sit, the browner they get.
The rest is easy. Place your washed fiddleheads into a roasting dish. Give them a nice coating of olive oil, I used lemon flavoured olive oil in this dish. I also added a nice helping of fresh cracked black pepper, and some no salt seasoning blend.
Put that dish into the oven, and roast. Since you want to make sure you kill any bacteria, I roasted them for 30 minutes.
That’s it!! Simplicity at it’s best. I always say food doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to taste good.
Next time you come across these beautiful seasonal delights, give Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns a try. If you are like me, you will have a hard time waiting for next season.
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Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns
- 8 oz fresh fiddlehead ferns
- 1 tbsp lemon flavoured olive oil
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp no salt seasoning blend
- Herbs for garnish optional
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Wash (several times) and pat dry fiddleheads.
Trim any brown stalk, and remove any brown on fern.
Place cleaned fiddleheads into a roasting dish.
Coat with the olive oil.
Add the seasonings, and give a bit of a mix.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring about 1/2 way through.
Garnish (if desired).