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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vegetable Spotlight: Fiddleheads

Fiddle me this. Have you ever walked into your local market and blindly purchased a product soly because of its odd appearance? Well I have, quite a few times actually. Recently I purchased a small spiral green which I later found out to be Fiddleheads.
This odd looking vegetable is actually a baby fern. Its harvested only in the spring and its very popular in New England and parts of Canada. The flavor of a Fiddlehead is very 'grassy' even after cooked for a long period of time.
When preparing a Fiddlehead its important to wash well and parboil them. There were a few cases food illness outbreaks in British Columbia in the 90's after individuals consumed some raw of lightly cooked Fiddleheads. Do not be swayed by this though. Its no different than say chicken right? If you eat raw of undercooked chicken you will probably get ill as well. This is what making offbeat foods fun to eat.
I prepared some Fiddleheads for my wife and I very simply.

1/2 lb fresh Fiddleads
1 Tablespoon of Butter
2 Cloves of Garlic chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

First thing you should do is wash the Fiddleads thoroughly under cold water. Then add them to boiling water and boil for five minutes. Remove from the boiling water and pour water out. Boil some more water then and cook for five more minutes and remove.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the Fiddleheads and cook for ten minutes. Salt and pepper to tastes and squeeze the lemon over the Fiddleheads before serving.

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