Wild fiddleheads and wild garlic are available briefly in spring and are best eaten fresh. Combined in this simple recipe they are both a rustic treat and an urban delicacy.
If you live in a big city and have country cousins, chances are you’ve heard one of them tell of picking fiddleheads and wild garlic. For some it’s a rite of spring, some can’t get enough, while some don’t understand the hype.
Let me first explain the uniqueness of these plants. The fiddlehead or fiddlehead green is actually the furled frond of a young fern that is picked and eaten as a vegetable. They are picked in early spring before the fern develops. The wild garlic found in parts of Eastern Canada and to some extent, the US North East is also known as the Canadian garlic or formally the Allium Canadense. As wild plants, both are protected in some areas and are normally harvested by land owners where they grow naturally. Conservation and special care is practiced to ensure their sustainability.
Our friends, Bryan and Edith, out in Finch Ontario own a beautiful country home on a large parcel of land where wild ferns and garlic grow. Each spring, Bryan harvests his fiddleheads and wild garlic to pass along to his friends and family. With the conditions ideal for harvest, our generous and thoughtful friend delivered these local delicacies to our door, much to our delight. Here is one of my favourite ways of preparing them…
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Fiddleheads with Wild Garlic
- 10 oz fiddleheads about 30 pieces
- 3 wild garlics cleaned and chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
- Rinse the fiddleheads and add them, with the water, to a frying pan with a lid.
- Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until reaching desired tenderness.
- Drain the water and add the olive oil and garlic to the pan. Sauté (uncoverefor about 5 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper and serve.