Foraged fiddleheads and ramps with shiitake mushrooms
I spotted beautiful, fleeting, foraged fiddleheads at Whole Foods and just had to get them. They were tucked in a corner of the produce section right next to foraged ramps. Fiddleheads are the coiled tips of young ostrich ferns that grow near brooks, rivers and lakes in Maine during late April, May and early June, depending on when the snow has melted. To prepare them I kept it simple and sautéed them with shiitake mushrooms, butter, and fresh lemon (sensing a foraged theme here?).
VEGAN / GLUTEN FREE / SERVES: 2
1 lb foraged fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 lb foraged ramps, cleaned and trimmed
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 tbl butter
Takes about 30 minutes.
Fiddleheads: Carefully inspect and wash the fiddleheads. Discard any that are mushy, browning, or uncurled. Trim the ends.
Ramps: Carefully inspect and wash the ramps. Cut the ramps at the stalks (where the green meets the white). Dice the stalks and slice the leaves, keeping separate.
Shiitakes: Wash, stem, and slice the shiitakes.
In a small pot, steam the fiddleheads for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile in a large pan, add butter, diced ramp stalks, and sliced shiitakes. Saute until mushrooms start to turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Then add the steamed fiddleheads and saute for 5 more minutes. Toss in ramp leaves at the end.
Sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Carefully wash and trim
I admit that I’m not an expert on foraged fiddleheads, so head on over to this article by Food52 to read how to properly prepare them. The short of it is they need to be carefully washed and thoroughly cooked (10 minutes steamed does the trick).