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pasta and fiddleheads – hello spring!

pasta and fiddleheadsEver take a walk in the forest in the Spring and notice young shoots of unfurled ferns?  If you have, it’s a fern getting ready to open up.  It is at this stage when the fiddleheads are picked and cooked.  It’s a seasonal delicacy that lasts three to four weeks.  It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact taste of a fiddlehead but think of something between a green bean and asparagus. One of the easiest ways to enjoy eating these unfurled ferns is to simply cook in melted butter with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Pasta and fiddleheads go well together as does all-dressed fiddleheads or tossed in with baby gnocchi.

If you enjoy foraging for fiddleheads, make sure it’s the ostrich fern you pick as other ferns can be toxic.  When prepping fiddleheads, be sure to wash thoroughly to remove any of the papery-like scales and trim the ends.  Boil in salted water for 10 to 12 minutes before plunging in cold water.  Once cool you can prepare the fiddleheads to your liking.


pasta and fiddleheads


The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Buy fiddleheads that are bright green and tightly curled. Stay clear of any browning as this is a sure sign of age.  Enjoy!

pasta and fiddleheads – hello spring!
Serves: 2

  • 2 handfuls cooked fiddleheads
  • 2 handfuls cooked short pasta
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • ¼ to ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced

  1. Brown mushrooms in 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss in the garlic and cook until fragrant then add fiddleheads. Stir until heated through. Add pasta. Stir. Add ¼ cup yogurt and stir. Add more yogurt if too dry. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  2. The Culinary Chase’s Note: Buy fiddleheads that are bright green and tightly curled. Stay clear of any browning as this is a sure sign of age. Enjoy!


About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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