I must admit, when I first saw these guys in the produce department, I was confused and intrigued all at the same time. They don’t really look like something you would eat, but once I got to know them a little better, I learned they are kind of like a combination of asparagus and artichoke hearts. How can that be terrible?
Another way to prepare them that’s just as delicious is by sautéing them up in a little olive oil, salt pepper lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Simple, tasty and another something green to introduce into your diet, yay! There’s only so much broccoli and spinach a person can eat.
Pickled like this, they make a great appetizer to serve with fancy cheeses and baguette (yes please!) During the warmer summer months it’s nice to mix things up with a nice cold app that can sit out and remain good. I actually got the recipe from my most recent cookbook purchase, Tart and Sweet. It’s always really exciting for me to dive into a new cookbook, a little like Christmas, if you will.
So you should try this recipe! Pickling couldn’t be easier with the right recipe, plus it’s more fresh and you can get really creative with the different flavorings, spices and even the veggies! My next tackle might have to be red onions, because they are so pretty all pink on a fresh chorizo taco!
Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns:
- 3 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 3/4 pounds fiddleheads
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon dill seed
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a medium nonreactive pot. Stir to dissolve the salt.
Pack the fiddleheads, bay leaf, garlic, and spices into hot jars. Pour boiling brine over the fiddleheads, making sure they’re covered in liquid and leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims, and seal. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for elevation. YIELD: 4 pints