I have been wanting to try fiddleheads for years, but it is a matter of finding them in season. Fiddleheads are the young, edible frond of certain ferns, and as a local edible, they make for a nice spring tradition. I recently found them at my grocery store, and was excited to try them.
First I gave them a quick soak, and then ran them under water as I clipped off the ends. I will say that despite my thorough cleaning, I did still notice some grittiness to the fiddleheads when I ate them later.
If a fiddlehead is brown or uncurling, it is not fresh, so I ended up discarding a couple as well.
I read that you are supposed to boil the fiddleheads for about 10 minutes in salted water to kill off anything undesirable, so I did that next.
Since my next step was to sauté the fiddleheads, I quickly drained them before returning them to my frying pan.
After draining the fiddleheads, I sautéed them in butter with some fresh chives I cut from the garden. I think scallions, garlic, or onion pieces would work just as well. My chives grow so abundantly in the spring, that it is nice to have a way to use them in dishes.
I sautéed the mixture of butter, fiddleheads, and chives for about 3 minutes, adding a splash of lemon and salt as well.
I enjoyed the cooked fiddleheads. They taste much like the tops of asparagus and a little like broccolini (which I also often cook with butter and lemon). This would make a great side dish to accompany pasta, rice, etc.