Weekday Vegetarian: Fiddlehead Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

I was very excited to get to my farmers' market this week to discover that at last, the fiddleheads are in. I asked for a half a pound, then decided that it looked a bit skimpy, so revised it to a pound.

What was I thinking? My husband is away for two weeks, and my daughter hates fiddleheads. I can tell you that a pound of fiddleheads is a lot for one person to get through. I think I'll make some fiddlehead soup, which is one of my favourite soup recipes, and then I'll just sit down and eat the whole thing myself!

Fiddleheads, soy and sesame are a nice combination of flavours and this very simple salad can be made in the time that it takes for the fiddleheads to cook. I ate it as a side salad, but it would make a great topping for soba noodles, or you could serve it warm over rice. Add some grilled tofu and you have a full dinner. I cooked some wild leeks and added that rather than using green onions, which added to the earthy flavour.

This recipe comes from the website The Seasonal Gourmet.

Fiddlehead Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

4 cups of fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed of any brown parts
1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
3 large green onions cut into thin slices, reserve some chopped green ends for garnish

For the vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 Tablespoon dark sodium-reduced soy sauce
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, very finely minced

1. Fill a saucepan with enough water to just cover 4 cups of fiddleheads and bring to a boil. Add fiddleheads and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain fiddleheads then rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Drain again and allow them to dry thoroughly.

2. In a small bowl add rice vinegar, peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar and garlic and whisk until well combined.

3. Place cooked fiddleheads and green onion slices in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette until dressing evenly coats the fiddleheads. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a sprinkling of green onion slices.

Tags: Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian