Someone out there is probably wondering what in the world is a fiddlehead? Well, this may sound odd, but a fiddlehead is the an unfurled frond of a young fern. It’s also a tasty and interesting looking addition to a spring table. Gotta be sure to cook them first because it’s believed some form of acid in fiddleheads may cause you to get sick. I know you don’t want to be sick. K, however, didn’t know this. He ate a raw one. Last time I checked, he was still standing. Whew!
Needless to say, when I saw these lovely fiddleheads at the farmer’s market I simply couldn’t resist. I brought them home, gardened a bit, and thought long and hard about how I wanted to cook them. It hit me in the shower. Risotto!
This risotto turned out quite tasty. The fiddleheads are very mild in flavor. They can be compared to a milder asparagus. It’s fun to cook with them, however. They are very cool looking and you are a real foodie when you waltz up to the forager stand at the farmer’s market and cooly ask for a bag of fiddleheads.
1/2 lb. fresh fiddleheads
2 cups arborio rice
6 cups veggie stock
2 tblsp olive oil
1 large spring green onion (or 4 small ones)
3 cloves garlic
1 large tomato (chopped)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Thoroughly clean the fiddleheads. They can be very sandy. Wash them several times in cold water. Snip the ends if they are longer than 2 inches. Then, cook them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
Boil the stock in a large pot. Once boiling, lower the heat.
On another burner in a deep wok or skillet, cook the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for about 4 minutes until fragrant and translucent. Add the rice and cook for about one minute stirring until it is coated in the oil. Add one cup of the stock, the fiddleheads, and stir until the stock is completely absorbed. Do this again and again until all the stock is absorbed. Stir constantly. This takes about 30-40 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft in your mouth with no remaining hard bits. Stir in the cheese until incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh tomato on top.