Fiddlehead Ferns

Three years ago I heard the words “fiddlehead ferns” for the first time. I was at the renowned Cragie Street Bistro (now Craigie on Main) for a dinner I will never forget. One of the dishes we ordered was the fiddlehead ferns because no one in our group had ever heard of them! We are all originally from the west coast and the fiddleheads are indigenous of the northeast. I loved them at first bite and was totally stoked to find them at Whole Foods this past week. I prepared them for the first time and was pleased with the outcome.

Prime eating time for fiddleheads is Spring. They are delicious and full of fiber, Omega 3s and 6s, potassium, and are low in sodium. BUT, you have to be careful when preparing as they harbor not so helpful microbes.

To prepare:
1. Rinse and trim any yellow/brown skin
2. Dump in boiling water and cook for 4 min
3. Blanch with cold water
4. Saute in olive oil for about 3 min and top with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon
*Note if you undercook them, they’ll turn out bitter. If you overcook them they turn out mooshy. I followed the instructions above and they were darn near perfect.

They make a great side dish to any meal. I served mine with grilled chicken and sweet potatoes. It made for a tasty meal and pretty plate! Have fun with your food. Have you had any dining adventures lately?

Your food loving dietitian in Cambridge,


  1. Marci — I love fiddlehead ferns, and we can gather them right outside our door in the spring! This year, I was out of town during prime season so I missed them. 🙁

  2. Marsha, that is amazing! Can’t believe you can gather them right outside. The only thing we can gather outside our door are leaves. 🙂 I need to come visit you up North!

  3. Saute them in a lot of butter and garlic for a couple of minutes. They soak the buffer up like a sponge. Wrap 6-8 of them in a piece of proscuitto, and broil them about 3 minutes to tighten the proscuitto up. Serve them to someone who has never tried them.

    You’ll knock their socks off!

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