Wild Crafting Fiddlehead Ferns
Fiddlehead Ferns! What are Fiddlehead Ferns? They are one of those joys of spring that have a very short harvest window. When the forest comes alive in spring they pop up out of the ground in tiny little pinwheels and are the young growth shoots of the fern plant. Spring is really the only time you can wild craft for Fiddlehead Ferns as they mature fast and soon become inedible. The Fiddlehead is usually from the ostrich fern. The name comes from their resemblance to fiddle (violin) head. Each head is tightly curled having a deep green stalk that is covered with brown scales. These scales need to be scraped off before cooking. Begin to harvest fiddlehead ferns when they are about eight to twelve inches tall and only when they are young and tender otherwise the stalks get too tough and woody to eat. I did use a scissors but when you bend them you can easily just snap them off.
Fiddlehead ferns are high in Potassium, Protein, Vitamin A, C Magnesium and Calcium. These young and tender little fronds taste like asparagus or maybe resembling green beans yet their texture is one that is unique to it. Their season is very short so get out there and start harvesting before it is too late!
Even though Fiddlehead ferns are quite identifiable, be sure to have an identification book with you if you have never harvested these before. It is not real easy to mistake them for something else.
I just sautéed the fiddlehead ferns in a pan with a little butter with one small shallot, diced; one clove of garlic, diced; and topped with about teaspoon some fresh dill feathers. They are so delicious, so delectable, so fresh and so spring! Find time to head to the woods or forest before the season is over.