Okay, I know what many of you might be thinking…What are fiddleheads? I asked this very question when one of my classmates from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition introduced them to me. We made this crazy-sounding food after an inspiring and empowering day of class.
In school, we had the great opportunity to learn from world-renowned wellness experts, including Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Deepak Chopra. Thus, we always left class with a hunger for more knowledge and of course, healthy food, such as fiddleheads!
A fiddlehead is a delicious, yummy rolled-up fern. Yes, a fern! However, it’s not the type of fern that may be sitting in your home or office. It’s typically a young Ostrich fern that is grown for food consumption, and it is only available in the spring (see picture below).
Last week, I bought a small box of fiddleheads at Whole Foods Market and researched different ways to cook and prepare them. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and eaten as either a side dish or an addition to a main dish, such as a stir-fry medley, omelets or pasta. Please note: fiddleheads should never be eaten raw.
After reviewing numerous recipes and Web sites, I used my collective research to experiment and do the following:
- Rinsed all of the fiddleheads (really, really well!) and cut off any brown and/or mushy pieces.
- Boiled the fiddleheads for 1-2 minutes, which is known to take away their bitterness, and rinsed them under cold water.
- Heated about 1 Tbsp of organic extra virgin olive oil in a skillet (over medium heat) along with the fiddleheads; sautéed them for about 3-5 minutes (stirring often). Note: They should be thoroughly cooked.
- Tossed in fresh garlic (about 2 cloves) and a few pinches of sea salt.
You can also add a splash of lemon or spice them up with red and black pepper. Even better, add mushrooms and onions. It’s all up to your taste and preferences.
Have you ever had fiddleheads? If so, share your experiences below.