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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fiddlehead Ferns

In another few weeks, fiddlehead ferns will be popping up in woodland areas. These are the first wild edible that I'm aware of.

You need to pick fiddlehead ferns when they are very young (like the picture) and before they have unfurled into true ferns.

As with any wild edible, only pick a few in each area so that you don't destroy the whole supply for future wild edible hunters. Take a few from each area and leave some for the next person. Don't pull up the fern, just snip it off below the curl so that it comes back next year.

Once you get your fiddleheads home, rinse them well and peel off the brown part of the plant. You can use them in a variety of ways but my favorite is to make a fiddlehead fern quiche.

Fiddlehead Fern Quiche
serves 6-8
For crust use any non-sweet pie crust or a homemade crust
6 slices bacon, crisped
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. minced scallion or onion
salt, pepper
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 pint fiddlehead ferns

Cook crust according to directions. Combine eggs, milk and cream in a bowl. Add scallion and seasonings. Sprinkle half the cheese in the bottom of the shell, lay bacon and pour egg mixture over. Sprinkle rest of Swiss cheese, arrange Ferns on top and grate nutmeg over top. Bake at 375ยบ for 30-40 minutes until set. Cool slightly and serve.

Here are some other recipes:

As with any wild edible, make sure you know what you're hunting for. If you have any doubt whatsoever don't eat it.


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