I have a special place in my heart for foods that can’t be played (aw crap, a pun. I’m leaving it). With fiddleheads, there’s no messing around. They show up in the spring, get picked in the wild before they’ve turned into fully fledged ferns, and then they’re gone again. If you’re eating them and they’re not frozen, they probably recently came from a forest glen near you, and you can be sure you’re eating something that is legitimately in season.
There are many attractive attributes to a fiddlehead. Its name is cute, coming from that little curly bit at the end of a fiddle’s neck. It’s healthy, having twice as many antioxidants as blueberries do, while also having its fair share of Omegas 3 and 6. It’s clearly pretty…
I just wish I had known they could make you puke before I ate a whole bag of them. Oh, and they might cause cancer.
Yes, after I had cooked the delicious dish below and eaten the entire side as an entrée because my husband is away, I found a Health Canada warning that says that fiddleheads can be the cause of food borne illnesses if they’re not cooked well enough. I read something else that said that their tight little ferny fists can hang on to bacteria that would otherwise let go while under the tap. Luckily I had rinsed mine well to try to take pictures of them without any brown bits on them, and had decided to roast them, which works to get rid of salmonella on chicken, so should do the same for the wee microbes on these. Right? I’ll let you know in about 12 hours or so. As for the cancer, I’m not too worried. The fiddlehead’s seasonality is probably fate’s way of telling you to eat the little curly greeners in moderation. Also, I mixed them with three kinds of mushrooms which I read in the book Anticancer are good cancer fighters, so I think I broke even.
Anyway, when I read that fiddleheads could be roasted, my mind jumped to other veggies and fungi that I liked when cooked that way, and I threw them all together with some thyme, olive oil, and garlic. Here are my pretty little carrots. And yes, I know you’ve probably seen carrots before, but we just got a new camera and I’m excited.
And here is the recipe for Roasted Fiddleheads, Carrots, and a Mushroom Triple Threat
- 2 handfuls of fiddleheads, washed carefully
- ½ pint oyster mushrooms, chopped coarsely
- 1 portabello mushroom, stem discarded
- 1 pint shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 1 small bunch carrots, each peeled and cut into three parts
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- Very good glug of olive oil
- 2tsp fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried)
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Prepare all and combine in bowl, dousing generously with olive oil before adding thyme and salt/pepper. Prepare baking sheet with foil and distribute vegetables evenly. Roast vegetables for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. Finished when liquids have dried and veggies are beginning to look brown with some crispy bits.
Excellent! I would serve this mix as a side any time fiddleheads are in season. The mushrooms added great diversity in texture and the carrots contributed sweetness as their gift. Very easy and quick to prepare, while still looking and tasting impressive. Healthy and vegan too, as a bonus. The fiddleheads tasted quite like asparagus to me, and I ate every last one and would do it again, even knowing that they are making me take my life into my own hands.
Rating: 4 Yums