Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 7 min.
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound fresh picked fiddleheads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 2 tablespoons sweet salted butter
2 -3 cloves fresh minced garlic
¼ cup pancetta or bacon, cubed
Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
(Some Mainer’s prefer to first blanch the fiddleheads and then sauté them. Either way works for this recipe).
Trim the browned ends of the stems and vigorously cold rinse the fiddleheads in a colander. Place them in a large kettle of cold water and swirl them around, rubbing off the thin flakes of brown chaff. Drain and dry in 4 layers of paper towels, rubbing off any remaining chaff.
Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook, stirring until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add ferns and garlic and cook, covered, for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until they are tender but still are slightly crunchy. Add in the butter, sauté for a minute or two to coat the fiddleheads with the melted butter, and then season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve immediately.
MAINE RECIPES > VEGETABLES & SIDE DISHES > WILD MAINE FIDDLEHEADS
COURTESY OF GAYWEDDINGSINMAINE.COM
Fiddleheads are a unique delicacy from northern New England, particularly prized in Maine. That they are the first green vegetable in the early spring, are around for only a few weeks, and are gathered by local foragers, greatly adds to their mystique and Maine charm. They have a delicious intense flavor that is reminiscent of fresh picked asparagus. Traditionally, fiddleheads are sautéed in fruity olive oil or sweet salted butter, or both, and lightly seasoned with sea salt & fresh cracked pepper. Any way you prepare them, you’ll be enjoying a true Maine treasure.