Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sautéed Sesame-Soy Fiddlehead Ferns and Asparagus


There are a few things that have such a short season, at least in our area, that I just about scream and dance a jig when I see them. Rhubarb is one; fiddlehead ferns are another. We've foraged fiddleheads a few times, but whenever I see them in the markets or a store, I scoop up as many as I can.

If you're lucky enough to find them, you can cook them as you would asparagus. I opted to do an Asian-inspired sauté. In this case, I didn't actually have enough fiddleheads, so I mixed them with asparagus.


What are fiddleheads? Besides being a harbinger of Spring, they are the tightly curled fronds of a young fern. They are bright green, have a snappy texture, and have a grassy, woodsy taste.

R commented that they taste "like the bottom of a redwood forest." I'm not sure exactly what that means, but that's kinda grassy and woodsy.


Jake was equally dubious this time around, too. You've had these before, I insisted.

"But did I like them?" he asked. Yes, yes you did.


I served this as a side dish with my Hui Guo Rou (Twice-Cooked Pork Belly). It was a great combination.

Ingredients
Before you cook them, you might need to do a little bit of prep. Wash the fiddleheads and remove any brown fur or fluffy "skin" and trim off any browned ends. Now, you're set...
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 2" lengths
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 t toasted sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish, approximately 2 t

Procedure
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Add the fiddlehead ferns and asparagus and cook, stirring, until the fiddleheads and asparagus are bright green and crisp-tender, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, tossing to coat completely. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Buttons