The Fiddlehead Fern is the unfurled fronds of a young fern. There are several varieties that are harvested for consumption, but only for a very short period of time. They’ve been available for a few weeks now, but this is the first time I’ve been able to get them! They taste like a combination of asparagus, broccoli and have more antioxidants than blueberries! Wikipedia offers a great description.
They key to cooking these is to clean them, cut the brown tips off, boil them for 5 minutes, chill in ice water, then sauté with butter (some add a dash of choice vinegar) for a few minutes and serve.
First we roasted the beets. Then let them simmer in cider vinegar for a few minutes. Set them on a paper towel to drain. Then fold some fresh herbs in the goat cheese and place between layers of the beets. The dressing was finely chopped shallots, orange zest and the juice from an orange, a dash of Dijon mustard, olive oil and sherry. Then we drizzled the dressing over the beets and goat cheese tower and drizzled a bit of the cider vinegar (which turned a gorgeous shade of fuschia) and enjoyed chilled before dinner. It was an adaptation from Wolfgang Puck’s recipe.
I stopped by Chase’s Daily in Belfast one summer afternoon last year and was so pleasantly surprised at the quality of the farm fresh produce offered. I’ve never seen a shallot without a dry paper outer layer (our only option in grocery store chains)! These shallots were so fresh that the roots were still soft and moist. There were bins and bins of fresh picked vegetables, herbs and fruits. And I must say, some of the most gorgeous and best heirloom tomatoes I’ve ever had. The uglier, the better. This to me is an artist tool box of paints. And what I chose to paint when I got home was only up to my imagination…