One of springs elusive veggies, much like Ramps, Fiddlehead Ferns are a must try if you can find them. I haven’t found a local source, so the ones I picked up were from Portland ( I know, I should find a local source).
The flavor is mild, I describe it as a cross between asparagus and a fresh green bean. A quick blanch and saute with grapeseed or mild flavored vegetable oil and a tiny bit of garlic is all you need.
Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns with Garlic
8 ounces of Fiddlehead Ferns (rinsed and trimmed)
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of oil (grapeseed, vegetable)
salt and pepper to taste
Large pot of boiling salted water
Rinse and trim any brown ends form the ferns prior to blanching
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and then Fiddleheads. Boil for 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and promptly submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process
Drain well and pat dry. Heat oil in a skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes, adding garlic during the last minute (the fragrance is amazing). Salt and pepper to taste.
I think they are delicious on there owns, but adding any light mushroom (chanterelle) would be excellent. If you are so inclined I am sure bacon or pancetta would be good as well.