Photo Credit: Emma Alter
It's been such a dismal spring that all of our vegetables are a bit behind schedule. We finally have some asparagus, but it feels like it's been a long time coming. Of course, two crops that don't care if it's cold and rainy (in fact, they probably like it) are fiddleheads and wild leeks. I'm always looking for different ways to serve fiddleheads, and it occurred to me that they might pair well with artichokes. I didn't have any fresh artichokes, but I had lots of my canned marinated articokes in my cold room. It turned out that these two strongly flavoured vegetables were a terrific match.If you have fresh artichokes, by all means use them, perhaps grilling them first and then adding them to the fiddleheads, otherwise use a jar of them. My homemade marinated artichokes have vinegar and a lot of lemon juice in them, so they are pretty piquant. If you are using fresh artichokes, I would add some lemon juice to the pan, maybe an ounce or two, depending on your taste. I garnished this with Parmesan cheese, but if you leave that off, this is a vegan dish. I served it as a side dish, but you could add some more vegetable stock to it and serve it over pasta.
For easy cleaning, toss the fiddleheads into a paper bag and shake it vigourously. Remove the fiddleheads and if there is still a lot of the brown papery stuff on them repeat the procedure, then rinse them well in cold water.
Fiddleheads with Artichokes and Wild Leeks
1 tbsp olive oil
3 or 4 wild leeks, chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
2 ounces white wine
2 ounces vegetable stock
1 ounce of lemon juice (optional)
1 cup or so of fiddleheads
3/4 cup or so of artichoke hearts
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
1. In a large skillet heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add wild leeks and cook until softened, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they have thrown off their liquid, about 5 minutes.
2. Add white wine and vegetable stock and heat through. Add fiddleheads and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until the fiddleheads are almost tender about 10 minutes. Add more vegetable stock if it is too dry. Add artichokes and cook until they are heated through and fiddleheads are completely cooked, about 5 minutes.
3. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.