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ISO: Fiddlehead recipes

I've recently bought some fiddleheads but seem to be at a loss as to how to cook them - any successful recipes would be appreciated!



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  1. simple is by far the best. rinse well, steam over salted water for 2-3 minutes or VERY al dente, saute lightly for another 1 min with some butter and finish with a squeeze of lemon and some good sea salt. some people use garlic but i like to highlight the spring freshness

    1. This might get moved to the cooking boards but Fiddlehead Chowder from Anita Stewart's Flavours of Canada cookbook is my all time favourite. The Toronto Star published it a while back.


      I noticed that Toronto's Closet Cooking published a Fiddlehead carbonara recipe on Tuesday and was thinking about trying it but haven't yet.


      Good luck!

      1. If you like anchovies, and who doesn't, grind up an anchovy or two w/ some garlic in a mortar and pestle, reduce some cream, add the anchovy mix and stir. Serve over fiddleheads steamed and sauteed as downtownfoodie wrote. Less is more w/ this dish.

        1. This is me defaulting to my Southern-ness, but I like to fry 'em up. and top them with bleu cheese and hot sauce.

          1. Bought some fiddleheads the other day and was looking for recipes. Found, in Flexitarian Table, a suggestion to pair them with cut up asparagus. Lovely combination. Simply sauteed with slivers of garlic in olive oil and topped with a squeeze of lemon.

            The author says to be sure to blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to get rid of dirt and bacteria. Not sure I'd done that before, but I will from now on. Was shocked at how much dirt and gunk was in the bottom of the pot. Even after rinsing and trimming.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JoanN

              Yes! It was the first time I'd ever made them, so I researched the prep quite a bit. I came across a lot of articles instructing me to rinse, blanch, etc.

              I didn't blanch them, but I let them soak in a mixing bowl of water for a bit, and changed the water several times. Those things had a LOT of gunk. I may have taken them for a spin in the salad spinner before battering them, but that was also the night of morels and favas, so it's all sort of running together in my memory.

            2. A lot of asparagus recipes will work. There is a fiddlehead app on FB that might be of interest to you.

              1. I have read online that fiddleheads can cause "gastric distress" if not cooked thoroughly. That doesn't mean that they have to be mushy, but they should be nice and hot and softened all the way thru.

                I made them the other weekend this way:
                Saute some shallot (I used a sweet onion since that's what I had) in butter and olive oil. Add fiddleheads, mix around and cover pan. Cook over low for a 5-10 minutes. Can't really say how long -- the color lightened up and they had softened up fully but were not at all mushy. Season with S&P.

                1. Does anyone here know if fiddleheads are available in Minnesota? Anywhere in the Twin Cities would be ok. I guess I could start calling around, but I don't really want them that much.

                  1. We have generally had fiddleheads sauteed with onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and served with potatoes. I tried a couple variations this year.

                    Left: Brown rice pasta, onions, garlic, mushrooms, red bell pepper, fiddlehead ferns, with tomato, tahini, and lemon juice.
                    Right: Corn pasta, onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, fiddlehead ferns, with tamari and dijon mustard.

                    1 Reply
                      1. Special tonight at Prana in Newton Corner near Watertown Sq, (MA) was zucchini pasta with mushrooms, steamed fiddleheads, various sprouts, red bell pepper, and dressing. Delicious!

                        1. I was in Seattle last month, and it seemed every restaurant served them. My fave was an appetizer of hot sauteed chopped fiddleheads, asparagus, shallots, and morels on olive oil-garlic-rubbed crostini topped with a thin strip of lardo - yum!