Sunday, May 9, 2010

Do you have any ideas for a simple fiddlehead fern side dish?

Fiddlehead ferns are one of those items most people marvel at in the farmers market, but few people take the leap and purchase for consumption. Especially when you take it upon yourself to sample one raw for a rough idea of what you're getting yourself into.
If there's one thing you take from this entry it is this: fiddlehead ferns are gross raw. They're not bad for you or anything, they just don't taste good.
So I always give them a very thorough rinse and then a 3 minute blanch in salted water (1 tbsp salt: 1 qt. water) and then a shock in an ice bath. Once cooled, drain and dry them well.
Now they're ready for whatever you have in store; a simple saute, toss in a salad, a pickle maybe.

I like a simple Greek style approach.

8 oz. Fiddlehead ferns (cleaned and blanched)
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
1 Medium shallot, sliced (or half a small red onion)
2 tbsps Red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Optional: 1/4 of a preserved lemon chopped

1. Place the sliced shallot a bowl with the vinegar, allow to macerate for ten minutes. This muffles that onion punch
2. Once macerated, toss in the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for at least five minutes.
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