Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns highlight these seasonal gems so well. Have you ever them? Fiddlehead season is only a few short weeks of the year.
Depending on where you live you might not even know what they are. Fiddleheads are actually edible ferns that are used as vegetables.
You can make fiddlehead recipes in numerous ways, and they can be found in soups, salads and pasta dishes.
You can find them in grocery stores and farmers’ markets, but they are very seasonal and disappear fast. If you are adventurous, wild fiddleheads can be found in the woods.
Ontario Pork was thrilled when I created a fiddlehead stir-fry recipe for their site. In fact, they even published it in On The Go Magazine. Pop by and grab the recipe.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for this edible fern side dish can be found at the bottom of this post.
This Fiddlehead Recipe Needs:
A simple recipe that showcases these tasty little gems.
- fresh fiddlehead ferns
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- feta cheese
Roasting Fiddlehead Ferns
The most common way is to boil and then sauté them. But with this recipe, they are roasted.
- Start by washing the fiddleheads (several times) and then patting dry (I use a kitchen towel). 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 more brown they get.
- Place washed fiddleheads into a roasting dish. Coat with olive oil. I used butter flavoured in this recipe for some added flavour. Season with salt and pepper. For a nice change of pace try some smoked sea salt.
- Put the dish into the oven, and roast. Since you want to make sure you kill any bacteria, roast for 25-30 minutes.
- Once cooked, garnish with feta cheese (this is optional but REALLY good) and enjoy!
As a child, I remember my mom actually going off into the woods and picking fresh fiddleheads. 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.
This little edible fern also called “ostrich fern” can be a little difficult to find. The fiddlehead season is VERY SHORT. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some, be sure to grab them!
The growing season is from late April to early June.
Your best bet is to check out your local vegetable markets. Some grocery stores will carry them. You can also sometimes find frozen ones in speciality stores.
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.
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.
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 any bacteria that may be on them.
Here is a great article regarding food safety tips.
From a nutrition standpoint, fiddleheads really are a superfood. They are a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre.
In Canada, you can find them mostly in New Brunswick, southern Quebec and southern Ontario. They can also be found in the central and eastern USA.
If you have the chance to get your hands on some of these beautiful seasonal delights, give Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns a try. If you are like me, you will have a hard time waiting for the next season.
Give these roasted and grilled vegetables a try too:
- Simple Roasted Tomatoes are a must during harvest season. I have tasty bags of tomatoes to use in recipes and sauces all year long.
- Grilled Shishito Peppers are a fund appetizer for bbq parties.
- Simple Grilled Veggies are the perfect side dish for any meal.
- Grilled Garlic Scapes are another seasonal item you won’t want to miss.
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Need a new side dish idea?
- Roasted Eggplant Slices (a great alternative to garlic bread)
- Roasted Shallots (perfect on pizza or added to hummus)
- Roasted Red Peppers (so much better than store-bought)
- Grilled Hakurei Turnips and Radishes (what a great combination)
Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns
- 1 pound fresh fiddlehead ferns
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (I used butter flavoured)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- 3 ounces feta cheese (crumbled)
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Wash the fiddleheads (several times) and pat dry. I used a kitchen towel.
- Remove any loose brown leaves, and trim any dry ends.
- Place cleaned fiddleheads into a roasting dish.
- Coat with the olive oil.
- Season with salt & pepper. I use smoked sea salt.
- Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring about ½ way through.
- Remove from oven and place on a serving tray.
- Garnish with the crumbled feta cheese.