Thursday, May 17, 2007
Fiddle Me This
Fiddlehead ferns are one of the signs of spring here in the Northeast. When I was a kid, the forest behind our house was filled with a sea of green come spring, but I never imagined those plants were a delicacy. I always see them in the market, but I've never cooked them until now. The warnings have always scared me off - MAY CAUSE INTESTINAL DISTRESS is not a way I'd like to start -- or end -- a meal.
So once again, I was in the market and the little green creatures were smiling up at me from their bin -- "Bring us home! Cook us! Eat us!" I'm a sucker for good-looking produce, and into my basket they went. Back home, I followed the instructions I found online - soak in water to separate the brown outer leaves from the fern, parboil to remove toxins, then stirfry with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
And the results? Meh. It tasted just like asparagus, with a little softer texture. And frankly, that was too much work for almost-asparagus. I am glad I've tried them, but I think I'll be able to resist their siren song next time.