Spring Greens and Fiddlehead Salad

by Joseph Erdos
Print Email

fiddleheadsalardThese curlicue-shaped fiddlehead greens are a specialty of the forest. They are actually fern fronds. Fiddleheads have such a short season since they're picked before the ferns have a chance to unfurl their fronds. They're definitely a specialty that you'll only see sold in farmers' markets and served in restaurants as a special dish of the evening. Rather expensive, fiddleheads are still worth buying, because a little does go a long way. Just a handful can add interest to salads or side dishes.

Fiddleheads are just plain fun to look at. Their flavor is like that of asparagus or green beans, very fresh and crisp if cooked just right. It is recommended that fiddleheads be cooked for about 10 to 15 minutes to kill any toxins, but I've never had a problem with them cooked for a shorter amount of time. Before cooking, I like to trim any brown area from the stem and soak the fiddleheads in a few changes of water. Then just boil or steam them until tender. Shock in ice water to preserve the bright green color. The fronds can then be used in salads or sauteed with onions or garlic for simple side dish.

For this salad, I serve the fiddleheads mixed with tender spring greens. For a unique dressing, I toss the greens in a creamy feta dressing. Rather than topping the salad with feta crumbles, here the cheese is incorporated into the dressing. It's just the right blend of creamy, salty, and tangy. A touch of honey rounds out the flavors with sweetness. It's a Mediterranean spin on salad, perfect as a refreshing appetizer to whet the appetite.

Spring Greens and Fiddlehead Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing

1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon honey
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces mixed baby greens
4 ounces fiddleheads, boiled and chilled
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

In a large bowl, combine shallot, vinegar, feta, olive oil, mayonnaise, and honey. Mash the feta into the mixture and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens and fiddleheads and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates and top each with walnuts. Yield: 4 servings as an appetizer or side dish.

 

Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, butabove all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for foodon his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.

You have no rights to post comments

 

restaurant news

Dr. Cabbage Patch
Los Angeles
by Maia Harari

ImageHeadaches are the worst. And if you don't catch them right when they start, they're hard to cure. I've had one for four days. My mom told me to drink lemonade.

Lemonade?

I've taken naps, sat in...

Read more...
Local Events: Santa Monica’s “SM Pier Seafood” Reopens as “The Albright”
Los Angeles
by The Editors

Albright Outdoor-IndoorLongtime Santa Monica Pier staple, SM Pier Seafood, has officially re-launched as The Albright. After 35 years, the family-owned and operated restaurant has passed down from mother to daughter and...

Read more...
Poke Bar Come to Costco
Northern California
by Amy Sherman

pokebar1One of the many things I enjoy eating in Hawaii is poke. It’s a raw fish dish, that generally combines fresh yellowfin tuna, also known as ahi, with local ingredients like seaweed, Hawaiian salt...

Read more...
The Golden State
Los Angeles
by Laraine Newman

believer2010.gifI recently joined Facebook and that is another story for another time, but its relevant to what I’m telling you because I’ve never made a friend this way until recently.

I was reading my favorite...

Read more...