CSA – Week 2 -Fiddleheads, Honey & more

May 3rd, 2010 / Comments 1

It’s fiddlehead season in Vermont and so  I got them in my CSA bag.  Luckily  there were a number of recipes for cooking fiddleheads in the bag because I am a fiddlehead neophyte.

CSA 0502 CSA   Week 2  Fiddleheads, Honey & more

This photo shows some of the spicy greens, spinach, scallions, herbs, honey, and fiddleheads that were in the bag.  It doesn’t show the  eggs.  I look forward to cooking the fiddleheads and will post about the results.

I called Carol Stedman, a friend and the administrator of my CSA. She explained that fiddleheads are a bitter herb and that it was important to completely removed the brown husk and then they would be delicious and safe. I followed her directions and trimmed the dry stem end and soaked the fiddleheads in a bowl of cold water for five minutes. Then, I swished them in the water and used a sieve with large holes to drain them. I repeated this twice, until the water was clear. I discarded the few fiddleheads that had any brown husk attached.

I boiled the pristine, husk and toxin free fiddleheads in a saucepan for five minutes, poured out the water, rinsed them in cold water and then boiled them in fresh water for two minutes. I cooled the now tender green spirals in cold water and drained them.

The pre-cooked fiddleheads were ready to meet Italy, at least a flavor of Italy. I sauteed them in olive oil and garlic. Here’s how I did it:

Fiddleheads in Garlic

I heated a tablespoon of olive oil and one clove of minced garlic in a small cast iron skillet over low heat for three minutes. I added half of the dry, boiled fiddleheads, a pinch of sea salt and a grind of pepper, and cooked them for two more minutes. I served this (very) local side dish as part of a local dinner of grilled chicken and a jar of last fall’s applesauce from my pantry.

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