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fiddleheads at trader joe's [moved from Washington DC & Baltimore board]

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interplanetjanet May 26, 2012 11:05 AM

I bought a little bag of fiddleheads yesterday at Trader Joes (in pikesville) and I must say that they were delicious. However, I made the mistake of eating a handful of them raw. Fiddlehead Ferns should be at least be cooked lightly. Raw they have a slight toxicity and can make you sick (like i am now) if you consume a large amount raw.

  1. m
    Maximilien May 26, 2012 05:50 PM

    Well, that's a lesson you will not forget !! :-)

    Max.

    1. Bacardi1 May 26, 2012 06:00 PM

      Yup - an excellent rule to follow is to do a little research before consuming any "new" food item. Can definitely save you from possibly developing an intimate relationship with your bathroom.

      Fiddleheads are delicious (although I'm surprised that TJ's still had them - the season is pretty much well over), but they MUST be cooked. Don't have to be cooked to mush - but definitely cooked.

      1. paulj May 27, 2012 07:05 PM

        The package says boil 7-9 minutes till tender. It also removes some bitterness and/or excess iron. I then finished them with a pesto sauce (also TJ) - olive oil, mince garlic, pesto, grated parm, mascarpone. Quite good.

        1. kubasd May 27, 2012 08:03 PM

          I lightly sauté them in olive oil with garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. I buy bags of them for as long as the store has them!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: kubasd
            Bacardi1 May 28, 2012 06:45 AM

            Although I have yet to purchase them, there's a company called "Earth Delights"
            http://www.earthy.com/
            that carries freshly-frozen fiddleheads year-round. I'm thinking that since fiddleheads are fairly firm to begin with, that they most likely freeze pretty well. If I don't buy from Earth (the shipping is what kills you), I may try blanching & freezing some myself next spring when they start hitting the markets.

            1. re: Bacardi1
              kubasd May 28, 2012 11:29 AM

              thanks for the tip!! I do love me some fiddleheads

              1. re: Bacardi1
                JMF Jun 5, 2012 06:46 AM

                I tried blanching and vacuum packed freezing but they got mushy when reheated. I think that they may have to be commercially frozen to get good results.

                1. re: JMF
                  Bacardi1 Jun 6, 2012 06:31 AM

                  That's one reason why I never bothered buying the canned. Yes - there's a company in Maine - "Belle of Maine", I believe - that sells commercially canned fiddleheads. I'm thinking they'd most likely be just as appetizing as canned peas, which are something I abhor. However, there are also quite a few folks that home-can them as well. Go figure. I still think that, out of season, freezing would be ones best bet if one had a glut of them.

            2. BabsW May 28, 2012 06:56 AM

              If you want a different way to cook them from the usual steaming or sauteeing, you can also roast them as you would asparagus.

              I drizzled them with olive oil and hit them with a bit of salt and pepper and then roasted them in a hot oven, (450 F) for 20 minutes and served with a bit of shaved parm and balsamic vinegar.

              Addictive.

              2 Replies
              1. re: BabsW
                kubasd May 28, 2012 11:31 AM

                I never can seem to find enough to get bored of the sautéing them, but i'll def try this next spring, as I LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted asparagus!

                1. re: BabsW
                  coney with everything May 29, 2012 05:20 AM

                  I blanch them, then dress them in a bacon and vinegar type dressing...like a spinach salad.

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