The first fronds yet unfurled of a young fern, fiddleheads get their name from their shape and are also referred to as crosiers, the curved staff used by shepherds. A seasonal delicacy requiring a good rinse and thorough cooking, fiddleheads are a traditional dish of Canada’s East Coast.
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) fiddlehead ferns
1 Tbsp (15 mL) salt
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) almonds, toasted and slivered
Wash fiddleheads well to remove grit, cut off ends, remove any brown spots, and pat dry. Blanch in just over 5 quarts (5 L) boiling water with salt. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Refresh in ice-cold water.
Saut?nions in the olive oil on medium-low heat. Onions should be soft but not too brown. Add garlic and saut?or 1 minute, and then add the fiddlehead ferns. Lightly season with salt and pepper, toss in toasted slivered almonds, then heat thoroughly.
source: "Celebrating Spring with Araxi", alive #306, April 2008
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