Weekday Vegetarian: Don't Wait Too Long to Try This Fiddlehead and Asparagus Salad with Almonds


Photo:Emma Alter

Fiddleheads are a foraged vegetable and only last for a couple of weeks at the farmers' market, so it's best to buy them as soon as you find them. I bought a pound of them last week and I've been working my way through them, cooking a then at pretty much every dinner.
Having fiddleheads every day calls for some thinking about different ways to cook them. If you look up recipes for fiddleheads they most often tell you to steam them. That gets boring by the second day. I've cooked them in quiches, in marinated salads, in soups and in a ragout earlier this week.

My daughter and I were making some okinomiyaki for dinner last night and I wanted a vegetable side dish to go with it. I ended up doing a stir-fry and had them as a warm salad. My daughter doesn't like fiddleheads so I made this for myself, so add more ingredients depending on the number of people you are serving.

As I mentioned earlier this week, you must wash the fiddleheads carefully removing the brown skin that causes bitterness. Shake them a couple of times in a paper bag and then rinse them. I like my dressing piquant, so test the dressing before you pour it onto the vegetables. If you don't have almonds, toasted sesame seeds would also be delicious.

Warm Fiddlehead and Asparagus Salad with Almonds

1 tbsp vegetable oil
10 fiddleheads, washed
4 asparagus stalks, woody ends removed, broken into inch long pieces
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce, splash more for almonds
Splash of sesame oil
Raw almonds, chopped

1. Heat vegetable oil in small skillet until it shimmers. Add fiddleheads and asparagus and stir-fry until cooked, but still slightly crisp, about 5 - 7 minutes.

2. Whisk together peanut oil, wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste for balance.

3. Place vegetables in bowl and add dressing. Set aside.

4. Reheat skillet and add almonds.Toast almonds for a couple of minutes then add a splash of soy sauce. Stir to coat and continue to cook for another minute or so. Add to vegetables and serve salad warm.

More Fiddlehead Recipes

Try A New Vegetable: Fiddleheads
Fiddlehead and Edamame Salad
Marinated Fiddlehead Salad

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