Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fiddleheads Ready - My World

Fiddleheads Ready - My World

fiddlehead ferns ready to pick in the spring

Last week I posted about the fiddlehead ferns just coming up from last year's growth.

When we went up this past weekend - many of them were ready for picking.

Karen, over at Chatbug Karen, left a comment about preparing them, so I thought I would let you know about that this week.

First, it is very important to make sure you are harvesting the correct kind of fern.

There are many varieties out there, but not all of them are edible. In fact, the wrong ones will make you quite sick so really take a good look at my two photos for identification.

If you see a fern with any kind of "fur" on them - they are not the edible kind. The kind for eating have a smooth brownish, almost golden coating that splits apart as the fern emerges.

You can kind of see it still hanging on the bottom of the fern in the above photo.

When they look like the above photo - they are ready for picking. If they are a bit taller, you can take up to two inches of the stem.

When you get home - wash them well - I soaked mine four times to remove all those brownish pieces of the coating.

Fill your pan with water about halfway up to the amount of fiddleheads you have in it, and cook them until they turn an olive green color - they are not the vibrant green they were when they were raw.

Don't overcook them - they will get too mushy. A tad of butter on them in your plate, and they are ready to eat.


MWT White


  1. I like fern, have some of them in backyard, I enjoy most when they're curling up like taht, I think I better just enjoy look at them than eat them.

  2. Love the name!! Great photo and post for the day! What interesting information! Hope you have a wonderful week!


  3. That is so interesting! I think I'll come to your house to eat some. I might pick the wrong thing, although your directions are very specific. Thanks.

  4. Kathy, I saw the Fiddleheads @ Whole Foods and had no idea what to do w/ them...they remind me very much of 'things I like to draw'...but to eat as well,what a bonus...I will have to try some...thank you for the recipe!!!

  5. I knew about eating fiddleheads, but I've never tried them. My (non-edible) ferns are coming up in the front flower bed right now too.

  6. I have never tried them. I have read about them and have thought about picking some in the woods but I have been concerned I might pick the wrong ones. Now I feel comfortable in picking. You gave a very easy to remember way of knowing which ferns are the Fiddleheads.
    Thank you!


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