Friday, May 2, 2008

Fiddlehead Ferns

Look what's growing in MRM's back yard:

That's a Maine delicacy called a fiddlehead.

According to Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Food and Cooking: An illustrated Reference for Successful Cooking, a fiddlehead fern is "the young, edible, tightly curled, green shoot of any species of fern. Most commercially grown fiddlehead ferns are form the ostrich fern. Fiddlehead ferns are 2 to 5 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. Their texture is similar to green beans, and their flavor is like a cross between asparagus and green beans. They can be eaten raw in salads, stir-fried in oil for about 1 minute, or steamed for about 1.5 minutes."

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, "Harvest the tender little rolls of fern almost as soon as they appear within an inch or two of the ground." They go on to give recipes for cooking them and warn what can happen when they're not cooked properly. I guess these fiddleheads in the backyard are too big.

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