I ventured into Roots on Saturday and was thrilled to find fiddlehead ferns!! Last month, in NYC, we enjoyed delicious fiddleheads at ABC Kitchen and I as hoping for the chance to prepare them myself this spring - lucky me.
First things first, these guys are dirty. So I washed and spun them in the salad spinner a few times. Next, in order to get their outer coating off, and to clean the internal fern frawns, I boiled them in salty water for 8 minutes. No joke - the water was brown when I pulled them out and shocked them in icy clean cool water. Next up, prep for roasting.
To prep the fids for roasting, I patted them dry and trimmed off a 1/4 inch. Tough these were trim to begin with,the edges were a bit brown. After all this work I want close to perfection. After the clean up, I laid them out on a sheet pan, drizzled olive oil then roasted them for 8-10 minutes. Here's what I did to pull together the entire meal:
Ingredients: - 1 pound of fiddlehead ferns, cleaned, prepped & roasted - 1 pound of jumbo shrimp, cleaned & shelled - Mixed salad greens - I used kale, red leaf lettuce & arugula from my garden - washed, dried and chopped - Edible flowers, bachelors button & arugula for the salad - 1 bunch of radishes, I used french breakfast, sliced - 1 tomato, sliced into wedges - 4 cloves of garlic, minced - butter, olive oil - salt & pepper - Your fav salad dressing or vinaigrette (homemade is best! But Trader Joes is a close second) - A baguette for crutons or for turning this into an awesome sandwich
Method: - Folling the directions above, rock out those fiddleheads and other ingredients - Meanwhile, prep the grill for the shrimp - While the fiddleheads roast and grill warms up, add 5 tbsp of butter and 1/2 cup of olive oil to a sauce pan. Gently warm it up and toss in your minced garlic. This will make for a great pool of garlic yumminess for the shrimp post-BBQ. Just remember, you are not frying the garlic. This is a gentle slow process. - You should b grilling your shrimp by now...I like them on metal skewers so I don't have to bother with soaking wooden skewers ahead of time. - Get your chopped greens and prepped veg in a large bowl. After your fiddleheads cool, toss them in too along with your dressing. - After your shrimp enjoy a few minutes in their garlic bath, plate it all up with the salad and the bread. (note - grilling the bread makes this quite delightful)
It all came together in a snap. I love cooking with new ingredients, especially when I get to enjoy them outside on a beautiful spring night. Now that I've conquered ramps and fiddleheads I'm going to start thinking about how to jazz up the summer standbys, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers & eggplants. Though, I may get one more chance at cooking something special, I spied some garlic scapes while watering this afternoon!