Favoring flavorful fiddlehead ferns

It’s been a week without readings and I’ve had time to spend in the garden and the woods. Especially the woods. I’ve been looking for fiddlehead ferns. Is this connected to Beowulf? Well, were you paying attention to the fact that they are “Fiddlehead Ferns”? Beowulf would have loved them.

My problem is that there’s a very productive patch of FFs about 100 yards from the house – and I could find no more. Were these the only ones in Connecticut? I began to think so. I searched through the woods in various directions and found Boston ferns, Christmas ferns, but not Ostrich ferns – which are what are best for eating. Then today, driving home from church by a different route and thinking about nothing in particular, I suddenly realized that there were FFs on both sides of the road. Too late for this year. I harvested enough for dinner, but most of them were unfiddled by now and no longer pickable. But wait until next year!

FFs, providentially, come along just before asparagus. A preparatif. But they are different and require different methods. I found a recipe for FF ice cream but we haven’t tried it yet. So far the best procedure seems to be steaming them over water with two or three pieces of lemon rind for 9-11 minutes, then tossing them in a pan containing a melted pat of butter and equal amount of olive oil until they are coated with the mixture – then serve.

Forward favorite fiddlehead fern recipes; they will be favorably received.

1 Comment

LibbyMay 8th, 2006 at 5:12 am

Forlorn and fernless here–but thanks for the recipes, and the examples of alliteration!

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