Fiddleheads are in season right now and if you’re looking for something new and wild to add into your diet then these delicious leaf vegetables are a perfect addition. The best way I could describe them to you is a delicate cross between asparagus and green beans.
They are the unfurled fronds of a few particular varieties of fern – with the Ostrich fern being the most common source in North America. The fronds straighten out as the plant grows so it is a short season and they’re generally harvested in the spring before the frond has opened.
It gains its name from its’ resemblance to the scroll end of a fiddle and as such these would have to be one of the most ornamental of all edibles. They make any meal look exotic.
Fiddleheads contain shikimic acid so you can’t eat them raw or undercooked. So if you’re going to give them a try; the best way to prepare them is to wash them thoroughly before boiling or steaming them for at least 12 minutes – until tender.