Friday, April 12, 2013

Fiddleheads for One

Sometimes you come across odd seasonal produce, lovely little things that are only available a week or two a year. Morels, fiddleheads, and ramps come to mind. If you are lucky enough to find them in a store, they are incredibly expensive. However, a little can go a long way, especially when you know the kids will have no interest in your little culinary treasures.

I found fiddlehead ferns last night. They were nearly $20 a pound, but I decided to try them anyway. I grabbed a handful and they rang up at under $2. So, what do I do with a handful of scroll-like ferns? Saute them with tempeh and mushrooms!

If you want to try fiddleheads, make sure you thoroughly cook them before eating them because they are only edible when cooked. The method I used blanched them and then sauteed them. They are quite good, a gustatory cross between asparagus and green beans. I served this saute over steel cut oats for breakfast, but it would also be good with brown rice or another cooked grain. You can also This recipe is for a single serving, but it can easily be doubled.

Fiddlehead ferns and crimini mushrooms

Flax tempeh, crimini mushrooms, dried thyme, and fiddlehead ferns - washed, sliced, and trimmed

Blanching the fiddleheads - only boil them until they float. It takes less than 30 seconds.

Tempeh, lightly coated in soy sauce and coriander and sauteed in olive oil.

Add in fiddlehead ferns.

Add in mushrooms and seasonings once ferns are cooked thoroughly.

Served over steel-cut oats.

Fiddleheads and Tempeh Saute for One

1 small handful of fiddlehead ferns (12-14 fiddleheads)
1 handful crimini mushrooms, sliced.
4oz tempeh, sliced
1 tsp tamari
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh thyme)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the browned ends from the fiddleheads. Blanch the fiddleheads by tossing them into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, until they float. Quickly remove them from the boiling water and douse them with cold water.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Toss the sliced tempeh with the tamari and coriander to coat, then saute them in the olive oil until they just begin to brown.

Add the fiddlehead ferns to the pan and saute with the tempeh until they begin to soften and brown. Add a little more olive oil if the pan becomes too dry. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked.

Remove from heat and serve over steel-cut oats, brown rice, or quinoa.

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