02 May, 2012

Oh, Fiddleheads!

Fiddleheads, fiddleheads, roly poly fiddleheads...

In case you didn't know, fiddleheads are a type of fern the grows in the New England area (as well as other areas worldwide.  They are the unfurled fronds of a fern.
Don't eat them before cooking!  They will make your tummy hurt.

I prepared them for an appetizer yesterday, and upon presenting them to The Boyfriend he looked at me like I had lost my mind.  'Am I supposed to eat that?' he says.

Of course!  And they were so good!  
They are extra-special because they are only available once a year for a couple weeks ONLY.  And that's it, they're gone!

They have a 'grassy' taste and texture- think asparagus or artichoke.   They're delish with something fatty/salty- like prosciutto di parma!

I got a super-simple recipe from MSNBC oddly enough.

Fiddlehead Ferns with Brown Butter and Prosciutto

1 lb fiddle head ferns, washed and trimmed (cut off  a couple centimeters of the cut end)
12 paper thin slices of prosciutto
3 tbsp brown butter (recipe follows)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch salt

  1. We are going to boil the fiddleheads. Add about 1 quart of water to large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Grab a large bowl and fill it halfway with ice water. Set aside. 
  3. Place a colander in sink.
  4. When water is boiling, add fiddleheads.  Cook one minute (do not overcook!).
  5. Remove fiddleheads.  Pour in colander to drain.  Then pour the fiddleheads into the ice water, submerging completely.
  6. While they are in ice water, brown butter. Add the 3 tbsp of butter to a saucepan over med heat.  
  7. The butter is going to start to turn a brownish color.  Start to stir constantly.  We are looking for the butter to turn a brown color and have a nutty aroma.  Once the butter begins to froth at the edges, keep stirring for about one more minute, and remove from heat. The butter will keep cooking in the pan.
  8. Grab the plates and arrange a slice of prosciutto on each one.
  9. Add the fiddleheads to the pan with the butter, and toss gently.  Add pepper and salt.
  10. Top the slices of prosciutto with the fiddleheads, and voila!  Spring's finest. Serve at once.

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