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Update: If you make this recipe you should cook fiddleheads for longer than I did, because it seems they can make you sick if they aren't well-cooked. Health Canada recommends that "fresh fiddleheads be cooked in boiling water for 15 minutes or steamed for 10 to 12 minutes until tender. Water used for boiling or steaming should be discarded as it may contain the toxin. Fiddleheads should also be boiled or steamed prior to sautéing, frying or baking."
This spring for the first time in my life, I cooked fiddleheads and I really enjoyed them. First of all, I just love saying their name. Also, I appreciate their taste, which is like a meeting of asparagus and crunchy green bean. And as if that's not enough, apparently they are super nutritious: They have twice as many antioxidants as blueberries and are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, the "good fat" normally found in fish.
I needed to wash them in four changes of water before all of their crusty brown bits came off. (I think it adds to their charm that they are a dirty little vegetable that makes you work hard to eat them.)
I blanched them for about four minutes in boiling water, and then rinsed them in some cold water to stop the cooking process. Then I heated some oil in a frying pan and sauteed some chopped shallot, garlic, an anchovy fillet, a pinch of dried red chili, some diced sun-dried tomatoes, and chopped fresh thyme and parsley. I added the fiddleheads and sauteed them in this mixture for about three minutes.
They were delicious as a vegetable side to my chicken and potato tray-bake. I will definately make them again, despite all of the work.
Fiddleheads, welcome to my world :)