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roasted fiddleheads and blue potatoesFiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern. If left intact, they grow to become a new frond. They’re fun to look at but what do you do with them? You may not see them very long. They’re popular here in New England and make a quick appearance in late spring. They’re  tightly coiled discs that are firm, bright green in color, and taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans. I’ve never had one, but saw them at two restaurants last week and decided to try them when I spotted them at the Salem NH Farmers Market.

I’d been wary – I’d seen warnings about not eating them raw as they can be toxic, and they need to be cooked thoroughly. Googling ways to cook resulted in most recommending blanching, boiling or steaming. Others suggest sautéing and roasting. Be sure to wash the fiddleheads carefully, and more than once, and discarding any brown husk. I opted to roast at a high temperature, like I would asparagus.

I like asparagus better … and I can’t wait to make a red, white and blue potato salad!

What you need:

  • 6-8 blue potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 c fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1/4 c + EVOO
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • balsamic vinaigrette, to taste, if desired

What you do:

  • Heat oven to 500⁰ and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In bowl mix EVOO, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add potatoes and toss to coat.
  • Turn onto baking sheet.
  • Repeat with fiddleheads, adding more EVOO if needed.
  • Roast about 30 min; potatoes may require more cooking time. If so, transfer fiddleheads to serving platter and continue cooking potatoes.
  • Mix fiddleheads with potatoes and drizzle slightly with balsamic vinaigrette, if desired.
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