Monday, June 6, 2011

Fresh Fiddlehead Salad

This week there were some nice looking fiddleheads at the store and, given the short season, I scooped bunch up. I figure this would be a good first recipe to share since, oddly enough, I have been asked multiple times this week what to do with fiddleheads. For Non-New Englanders, fiddleheads are unfurled ferns. I think they are-for the most part-foraged. If you are supremely curious about fiddleheads, here is a direct link to the Wikipedia page (probably written by a real fiddlehead fanatic).   

Fiddleheads  have a hearty texture and an earthy flavor. To me this means they can take either a good rich sauce like a hollandaise, or other butter based sauce when served warm, or something really light and citrus based when served cold. I was looking to do the latter and this is where I landed.  Anyone who has seen me make salad dressing, should know these are not on-the-dot measurements. In fact, if anything merits the name beautiful catastrophe, it is probably my approach to cooking. 

Fiddlehead Salad with Endive, Shallots, and Cannelloni Beans

Approx. 1 1/2 pounds of fresh fiddleheads
Endive (1 large or 2 small) sliced to same thickness as fiddleheads
1 can Cannelloni beans rinsed and drained
2 large shallots minced
Approx. 3 tbs. Dijon Mustard
Juice of 2 1/2 large lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
Approx. 1 1/2  tbs. extra virgin olive oil.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the fiddleheads in the boiling water until tender. Shock in ice water to stop cooking. Set aside. In a salad bowl mix shallots, mustard, lemon juice salt and pepper and mix well with a fork. Add olive oil and whisk rapidly to thicken up. There will be a lot of dressing, this is OK, the fiddleheads can handle it. Toss in the fiddleheads and endive and mix until well coated with dressing. Gently stir in the beans and lemon zest. Season as needed with additional salt, pepper and additional lemon juice to taste and enjoy! Really easy and good for a BBQ,with fish or alone for lunch.

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