I wouldn’t be a true New Englander if I didn’t have a fond appreciation of the local cuisine, and fiddlehead ferns are a Northeastern luxury that is only available for a short window of time every year (usually 2-3 weeks). The fiddlehead fern is a young, unfurled fern that resembles the curled end of the fiddle and is foraged for food annually. I’ve enjoyed two meals that have included fiddleheads this past week. My first experience was a fiddlehead and mushroom salad in a sweet vinaigrette (not pictured) for a Sunday lunch that my father-in-law made. The other we enjoyed last night as an appetizer (recipe below). We’ve been loving it so much, we’re going to get another pound of fiddlehead ferns tonight to try another recipe. It’s only $4.99 per pound at our local supermarket, but I’ve heard of people paying upwards of $20 and $30 per pound in other parts of the country.
Rumor has it that fiddlehead ferns are absolutely jam-packed with nutrition, containing twice as many anti-oxidants as blueberries. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, along with several vitamins and minerals. Some ferns do contain carcinogens that have been linked with cancer – the bracken fern being the worst offender. The ostrich fern is the one that you’ll want to look for. There have also been some cases of food poisoning from fiddlehead ferns that were eaten raw or not cooked well enough. So, it’s important to make sure you cook them thoroughly before eating them. We like eating them because they’re delicious, nutritious, local, seasonal, and wild!
Continue reading Fiddlehead Ferns Recipe With Bacon, Onions and Garlic