Cooking Fiddlehead Ferns
Matteuccia struthiopteris

Cooking fiddlehead ferns. Ostrich fern fiddleheads (Matteuccia struthiopteris). Fiddlehead Ostrich fern. When to harvest a fern fiddlehead. Picture of fiddleheads at the picking stage.



Ostrich fern fiddleheads at the right size for harvesting. These are ostrich fern fiddleheads at the harvesting stage.

Ostrich ferns are the types of ferns whose fiddleheads are most often harvested for cooking.

This is mainly because ostrich fern fiddleheads taste better than the fiddleheads of other types of ferns.This is the variety you will find on the menus of fine restaurants and sold at farmers markets.

Fern fiddleheads are only edible in early spring. Even then, they are not safe to eat in large quantities.

Ingest them at your own risk. Neither I, nor Botanical Journeys Plant Guides takes any responsibility for whatever reaction you may have.

Only the new growth is safe to eat. Harvest it before the leaves begin to unfurl and while there is just a couple of inches of stem.

Fiddlehead Fern Recipe

Cooked fiddlehead ferns.

Rinse the freshly picked fiddleheads well making sure to remove the papery brown chaff and steam them for 12 minutes.

It is important for safety reasons that you heat them for the full 12 minutes.

I realize that there are recipes that feature raw or lightly steamed fern fiddleheads. There are even restaurants that serve them this way but a small number of people have gotten sick after eating fiddleheads prepared this way.

Toss the hot, cooked vegetables with butter and sea salt. Top the dish off with a sprinkling of cheese or a spoonful of Hollandaise sauce.

The taste is similar to that of asparagus and you can substitute them for asparagus in many recipes.If you want to add them to soups and stews, add them during the last few minutes of cooking time or they will become too soft.

Nutritional Value and Health Benefits:

Matteuccia struthiopteris fiddleheads are rich in vitamin A. They also contain a little vitamin C, calcium and iron. A half cup serving contains 35 calories, 0 sodium and 2 grams of protein.

Grow Your Own Fiddleheads


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