Last night was a first, sautéed fern fiddleheads for dinner. I’ve often read that people around the world dine on young spring fern fronds, but I’d never had the opportunity to try them myself. Fortunately, our local grocery store specializes in produce and last night we procured these tender greens.
Following recipe wisdom online, we parboiled the fiddleheads for a minute, then cooled in an ice bath. Then into the frying pan with green garlic and chili flakes. We ate the dish alongside pasta.
I have to say, that despite being a fern expert, if I was given a blind taste and served the fiddleheads, I’m not sure I would recognize them. The texture and flavor is subtly different from cruciferous veggies, but not entirely unique. I did enjoy crunching these ferns and recommend you try it at least once.
I know that ferns are full of phytochemicals to help them prevent herbivory, so maybe I’ll limit my fern consumption to once a year. Just to be on the safe side of adventurous.