Fiddlehead ferns. Just the name alone makes them enticing to eat! I had them once at Candle 79, so when I just found them at Whole Foods, I bought a bunch, and ran home to cook them. I looked them up on Wikipedia to find out that they:
- are the furled frond of a young fern
- have antioxidant activity, are a source of Omega-3, Omega-6 and are high in iron and fiber
- resemble the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin
- only available for a short time in the spring.
They must be washed thoroughly and cooked well. They are kind of earthy, have a texture like asparagus, and have a taste in the realm of artichokes and/or pine nuts.
1 bunch of fiddlehead ferns
1 clove of garlic
Trim the woody stems from the end of each fern and soak in water for a few minutes, swishing them around a few times to loosen any excess anything.
Mince the garlic and slice the shallot.
Steam for 5 minutes until bright green.
While they are steaming, water or oil sauté the garlic and shallots until soft and then add the ferns and cook until throughly heated. Enjoy!