By Seth Fera-Schanes
Fiddlehead ferns are a versatile ingredient, well suited for a range of dishes. They require minimal preparation and offer a fresh taste with a nice crunchy texture.
I put this dish together which first appeared on The Refined Chef website. It is a simple pasta preparation consisting of a light sauce made with blanched fiddleheads and lightly sauteed cherry tomatoes. Lemon zest is added to brighten the dish and grated parmesan rounds everything out.
[Editors Note: don’t just go into the woods and pick baby ferns because you can get sick. Only purchase from a reputable farmer’s market or Whole Foods if they are in stock.]
Cook time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup fiddleheads – cleaned and blanched
1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
1 medium onion – chopped
4 garlic cloves – diced
1 tsp lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare pasta according to directions on package.
Clean and trim ends of fiddleheads. Add to a pot of boiling water and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking process and set aside.
In a saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add chopped onions and pinch of red pepper flakes if you would like a little heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes but do not brown. Add diced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add halved cherry tomatoes and cook for 4-6 minutes stirring occasionally. Add blanced fiddleheads and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add a little lemon zest over the top.
Plate cooked pasta and spoon fiddlehead and tomato mixture over the top. Add Parmesan cheese and serve.