Last time I introduced you all to the fern and talked about a quick way to prepare (you can read that here -- it's just like a haricot vert, but without the haricot). Last weekend we were out celebrating a birthday with a friend and on the charcuterie plate we were presented with pickled fiddlehead ferns. What a great little surprise. I never thought about pickling these things before. One of my goals for the year was to learn how to pickle something -- sounds like a great plan for the weekend.
The ingredients list is small, but everything is critical.
- 1/2 pound of fiddlehead ferns
- Brown rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Start by washing the ferns and removing any brown sections (also the fury brown areas should be removed -- every time I have purchased ferns they have already been partially cleaned). Salt a pan of water and bring to a boil. Drop the ferns in the boiling water and cook for 1 minute.
Plunge the ferns into an ice water bath. Rinse the ferns, plunge again in ice water and rinse again. The ferns will have a beautiful bright green color. Dry the ferns on a cotton towel then place them into a non-reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl.
In a separate dish combine the vinegar, salt and sugar until the solids are all dissolved.
Pour the vinegar solution over the fiddleheads (in the non-reactive dish), ensuring the ferns are completely covered with liquid (if not add more vinegar - no need to add more salt or sugar).
Cover the fiddleheads with plastic wrap or another lid and place in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, drain the fiddleheads and serve as an accompaniment to a charcuterie plate or as a regular side dish.
The ferns are quite crunchy and have a great color and a refreshingly briny bite. Have you had fiddleheads before? How did you prepare them? Have you tried quick pickling a vegetable this summer? What is your favorite recipe? Do you can your pickled veggies or do you just quick pickle and consume?