Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Tod., Polypodiaceae
The emergence of furled fronds of the wild ostrich fern from forest floors signals the arrival of spring in northern Saskatchewan. Fiddleheads are blanched, sauteed, or steamed as a deliciously tender early spring green. They make incredibly flavorful soups and salads and pair exceptionally well with rice, pasta, and morels. The tightly curled spirals add an elegant appeal and a wonderfully wild flavor to gourmet recipes. Try fiddleheads in omelets, on pizzas, or make fiddlehead pesto. Or have you ever tasted fiddlehead ice-cream? The flavor of fiddleheads is unique, described as a mix of asparagus, artichoke, and green beans.
Wild fiddleheads have twice the antioxidant activity (i.e., 19,000 on the ORAC scale) of wild blueberries. Fiddleheads are rich in iron, Omega 3s, Vitamin A and C, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Because ferns are wetland plants, fiddleheads are best stored in a container of cold water and, as such, keep their color, texture, and flavor for up to three weeks refrigerated at 2-3 degrees C. Enjoy these delicate little delights year-round canned or frozen!
We wild-harvest our fiddleheads in May in northern Saskatchewan.
Note: We pick our fiddleheads, weigh them, and then store them in cold water. This chronological sequence will give you a true lb of fiddleheads. One lb of freshly picked fiddleheads equals 1.4 lbs of wet fiddleheads. Make sure you don`t pay for the water! Enjoy.