Today was a wonderful day! My family and I spent the morning marching in the Apple Blossom Parade and spent the afternoon working in the new Westford Community Gardens which officially opened today. If you have been drooling over some of those seedlings at Springdell but have nowhere to put them, there are still plots available! It is shaping up to be a beautiful garden built by a wonderful group of folks with all different levels of gardening experience.
As our day was pretty much planned start to finish, I decided to go with the simple use of the fiddleheads in a soy mustard dressing. After Sunday’s dinner where you may recall that I accidentally left a bunch of fiddleheads in the steamer too long I just had to try again.
As we have been mentioning, there is foodborne illness associated with fiddlehead ferns, so it is important to be safe when using them. Some folks will stress that a steam of 10 to 12 minutes or a boil of at least 15 minutes is necessary to kill any possible pathogens on the ostrich fern. Others are not concerned with said pathogens and feel that a boiling time of five minutes is plenty. Still others claim that fiddleheads are safe as long as you do not consume them raw. For the purpose of this blog, we’re sticking to the safer end of things and recommending a safety boil or steam.
I found that dropping them in boiling water for 15 minutes, followed immediately by an ice bath, was effective in maintaining the green color and tender crisp texture.
The sauce I had made involved a bit of soy sauce, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. After a vigorous whisk, it was ready to toss with the fiddleheads. Here is the final product with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
- 1/2 pound Fiddlehead ferns, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- While trimming and cleaning your fiddleheads, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.
- Add cleaned fiddleheads to the boiling water and boil for 15 minutes.
- While the fiddleheads are boiling, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and sesame oil.
- Drain the fiddleheads and immerse them in ice water to stop further cooking.
- Toss the drained fiddleheads in the sauce before serving. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
This was a yummy springtime treat for sure. We enjoyed the sauce so much that I have some sliced radishes marinating in it for a tomorrow-snack.
As always, we would love to hear how you enjoy your fiddleheads!