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OR Mushroom Stories, Edible Portland

Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns

The unfurled frond of certain fern species can be harvested from the wet woods (or found at the farmers’ market) in early spring. Extend their short season with this brightly flavored pickle.

1 1/2 pounds fiddlehead ferns
4 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp Szechwan peppercorns (optional)
4 cloves garlic

1. Clean 4 one-pint canning jars, screw bands and lids and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Place sterilized jars on a baking sheet and keep them hot in a 200-degree oven.

2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Add half of the fiddleheads to the boiling water and cook until they are just tender but still crisp. Remove and plunge them into the ice water. Repeat with remaining ferns.

3. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and peppercorns in a nonreactive pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

4. Drain the ferns and pack them into the jars along with 1 to 2 garlic cloves. Add the pickling liquid to the jars, leaving a 1/4-inch of space at the top. Seal jars with lids and screw bands, and process them for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Once sealed, the pickles will keep for one year in a cool, dry place.

Makes 4 pints

Recipe by Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans, Sage Culinary Advice, thefarmersfeast.wordpress.com

Photo by Leah Harb

3 Responses to “Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns”

  1. Fiddleheads, Truffles, Nettles…Oh My! « Portland Farmers Market Blog
    April 1st, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    […] Fiddlehead ferns resemble the scroll at the end of a violin. They’re the young and unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern. Only available for a couple weeks in spring, this plant has a number of nutritional benefits, and taste a bit like a cross between asparagus and spinach. Their shape alone warrants a spot on your spring plate. They need to be washed well. Steam, sauté or pickle. Pair with butter, lemon and wild mushrooms. See market chef Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans’ recipe for pickled fiddleheads. […]

  2. Fiddlehead Ferns | The Farmer's Feast
    April 23rd, 2011 at 2:24 am

    […] recipe for Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns, a simple method with the unexpected zing of Szechwan peppercorn, can be found in the Spring 2011 […]

  3. a primer on pickling fiddlehead ferns « of agates and madeleines
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    […] Pickled Fiddleheads {Original recipes, inspired via Edible Portland} […]

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