I had these once at a lovely restaurant in downtown St. Paul and have dreamt of them ever since. They are a bit hard to come by or at least they were until recently–they’ve been popping up at farmers markets, and gourmet markets across the US. We pick up some at the Silver Spring, MD whole foods for $4.99 a box–a pretty good price in my opinion.
So the trick with these is to cook them but still get that crisp crunchiness that gives them their texture.
You will need:
About 30-50 Fiddlehead ferns
Set a pot of 4 cups of water to boil. Prepare a bowl with 2 cups of cold water and ice. Meanwhile cut the tips off the ferns and rinse them in cool water to clean them off a bit. Once the water is boiling put all the ferns in for 2 minutes. Then quickly scoop them out and get them into a bath of cold ice water. Take out the ferns and put them onto a kitchen towel, let the ferns dry.
After the ferns have been dried off they are ready to be sautéed. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add a pinch of salt as they sauté. Let them sauté for about 5 minutes then scoop them out and drizzle the butter sauce over them. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bon Appetite!