When considering New England cuisine, most people think of lobster, clam chowder, or even Boston baked beans, but there is another delicacy that is specific to our region: fiddleheads. In fact, these fancy little fronds are a traditional New England food, having been harvested here for more than 200 years! They grow wild in our wet forests, unfurling into ferns as the summer approaches, and today Dasha of Peachy Kitchens has joined us to share a tasty fiddlehead recipe!
Hope you're hungry!
Fiddlehead & Ramp Pesto
The spring is eagerly anticipated around here. It teases in March and April with a little bit of uncertainty: warm days, cold days, then when you least expect it overnight frost spoils the mood.
In May, however, when I see fiddleheads appear in the stores, I know spring is here and it’s a beginning of a beautiful season. If you are not familiar with fiddleheads, they are curled up fronds of a fern. You can see them as you hike through the woods around this time. Since not all of them are edible, I always discourage friends from trying to pick them themselves, and let a professional forager do it for you instead. Fiddleheads taste of grassy spring and have a texture similar to asparagus, they are rich in fiber, vitamin A & C, and omega-3 fatty acids. Most common preparations are boiling or steaming, sautéing with garlic and lemon is also a big favorite. Ramps are wild leaks, in Russia, my grandmother would call them Bear’s Leeks, and in my opinion, they have the most perfect taste of the whole onion family. So when I decided that I wanted to make a pesto with fiddleheads, there was no question that I would also add ramps.
I served the pesto alongside pan cooked shrimp, but you can also put it on chicken. It’s just as versatile as any pesto, spread it on pizza or bread, or use it as a dipping sauce for pita chips.
1 cup fiddleheads
½ cup chopped ramps
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt & pepper to taste
- Clean fiddleheads, wash them at least twice, the water should run clear. Trim the brown ends off the legs. Bring a pot of water to boil, add clean fiddleheads and once the boil returns, boil for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean the ramps, there’s always dirt at the roots, I clean as much as I can and cut off the rest. Chop ramps and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine olive oil and fiddleheads and purée. Start adding the rest of ingredients, taste before you add salt as you will get some saltiness from the cheese.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 7 days.
Thanks to Dasha for this yummy looking pesto recipe! Are you thinking of giving it a try? We do currently have fiddleheads in stock, but since they are a rare delicacy available only at this time of the year, they won't last long! As for the other ingredients, we have almost everything you would need! Stop in soon to stock up!
Health & happiness,
* Post and photos by Dasha Smirnova.