52 weeks. 52 new foods. Life's too short to turn your nose up at anything... this year I vow to say yes and try something new each week. Care to join me? 52 Weeks, An Adventure in Food
Fiddleheads rear their swirly-curly little heads during the first weeks of May. They look like a tight coil of tiny leaves, covered with a very fine, brown, tissue paper-like chaff. Their heads are approximately 1-1.5 inches in diameter. However, if you do happen to find some with larger head, they are still edible provided their heads are tightly coiled. Fiddleheads grow all over the place, but not all are edible. The edible variety grows in mudflats.
Once I was ready, I visited several websites to see what I could do with my fiddleheads. All of them recommended that I first wash and rewash them. So, that's what I did. I found a simple recipe that I felt wouldn't detract from the flavour. I did not want to claim that I was trying something new, and then lather it in some sauce to mask its unique character. I'm braver than that... I think. I chose a simple recipe of butter, garlic and fresh parsley, all of which I had on hand. I sauteed the fiddleheads very lightly in butter, adding a little garlic and parsley for flavour.
Lo and behold, fiddleheads are not the frightening little things I thought they were. They were delicious! They have a slight nutty taste and a texture comparable to asparagus. I liked the way they crunched, even after cooking.
Delicious and nutritious! According to nutritiondata.com, fiddleheads are low in cholesterol and sodium, and a good source of protein and zinc. They are a very good source of Vitamin A and C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
I'm so glad that I didn't let my fear of the unknown get in the way of trying these delicious little nutty nuggets. I ate the entire bowl in one sitting! With week one down, I can't wait to see what's on the menu for next week. Unless I can find morels, I think it's going to be Quinoa. See you next week!
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