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Fiddlehead Feasts



Late in April, ostrich ferns pop out of the ground in the woods behind our house.  They start off tightly curled and slowly unfurl into magnificent fronds.  While they are still curled up they are a gourmet delicacy, among spring’s earliest wild foods.  Our grocery store sells them in season for an outrageous price so we had never tried any, but this year I sent the children off to pick some where we had noticed adult ferns in previous years.  I used my field guide, Edible Wild Plants, to double check their identity, although the distinctive green spiral is hard to mistake for anything else.


Then we tentatively broke off a bit of the stalk and nibbled it.  The fresh summery flavour, similar to freshly picked green beans, was so delightful that we decided to eat them raw at supper time.  Unfortunately, the spiral itself was not as appealing as the stem, mostly due to its texture.


The next time we tried the fiddleheads in a basil and vegetable stir fry that my husband loved.  The children also appreciated them lot more this way.


A few days later, I gave in to begging and pleading.  Yes, they could go off to pick fiddleheads one more time, but we would only eat the ones that were still tightly curled up.  That time I microwaved them, drizzled them with butter, and tossed them with parmesan cheese.  Yum!


Next year we will start picking sooner and we definitely plan to repeat both the stir fry and the buttered parmesan fiddleheads.  We might also look up some other recipes.  Now that we know we love fiddleheads, we will have to be careful not to over-harvest them or there will be fewer left for subsequent years.


This post is entered in Canada Girl’s Tightwad Tuesday event.  If you have any interest in frugality, do check out some of the many creative ways of enjoying more for less.


Now I’m off to take my oldest for her first official on-road driving lesson!


Even though I don’t normally post on Wednesday,  please check back tomorrow, when I will tell you about a wonderful, one-day-only freebie most home school families would love to have.






  1. Canadagirl says:

    You are really peaking( sp?) my intrest now. I have thought about doing this but haven't yet. I will have to ask my MIL if there is a good patch of fiddle heads on our land. [0= Thank you for sharing the ways you did and didn't like them. I would not know how to make them other than I have heard people coating in batter and deep frying them. Not very low fat and I need to go low fat.

    Blessings in Him<><


  2. proverbsmama says:

    Thanks for stopping by to "visit" me again. 🙂

    I'd love "free" food, but I don't know if I could handle this version of it. LOL!

    I think I may understand why I can't sleep much after 4-4:30. Today I found out that I *may* be working 7-3, which would mean I need to be up around 4:50. I think perhaps God was preparing me in advance for that shift since He knew ahead of time what shift I would get. Isn't He amazing?

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