grilled fiddle head ferns

Have you ever tried fiddlehead ferns? I have, but this was my first attempt at cooking them myself.  There is a short season for them, so I thought when I saw them at my local organic market, I would try cooking them myself. But I kept coming across recipes that included bacon with them. Not what I was looking for. Then I came across chef, Dan Kleger’s version(of ABC’s kitchen)  recipe, and figured he had nailed it. I made some changes with my recipe, because I was out of lemon, but happened to have a bottle of Nellie + Joe’s Key Lime juice, so I substituted, but the process was the same. Simple and fresh, with no butter and/or bacon. If you haven’t tried them, they are reminiscent of asparagus with a slightly woody flavor. They also, are really pretty, an added bonus.


Dan Kluger’s Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns
4 cups fiddlehead ferns
4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
4 tbs. thinly sliced green garlic (white and light-green part only)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 lemons (1 for zesting, 1 cut into 4 wedges)
Coarse sea salt, for finishing

Preheat oven to 500°F. (1) Trim away any brown or woody ends from the fiddleheads. (2) Wash them thoroughly in several changes of water, removing any papery husks, and dry them. Place a large oven-safe skillet or sauté pan in the oven, and heat for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and add the oil. Add the fiddleheads to the pan and season with kosher salt. (3) Return the pan to the oven, and cook the fiddleheads until tender, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green garlic, toss with the fiddleheads, and cook in the oven for 30 more seconds. Remove the pan from the oven. Divide the fiddleheads among four plates and finish with pepper, lemon zest, and sea salt. Serve with lemon wedges.

In order to cook them on the grill, you need a grilling basket otherwise they will fall through. The pan method is just as delicious, it just doesn’t have that smoky grilled flavor that we all love in the summertime.

I hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend. It was very hot here, so we spent the day at the beach on Saturday in Westport. It was the first Saturday in June I didn’t have a wedding in as long as I can remember! I really enjoyed myself, with family and friends, it was such an awesome way to spend my birthday, and it was all finished off with a really nice dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with fresh Connecticut oysters for all.. xo-kate