Welcome to a new weekly blog feature! Every Saturday, check in to find out WTF is in season and WTF to do with all that local goodness. This week… Fiddleheads.
At this time of year, Ramps (aka wild garlic) and Fiddleheads duke it out in a veritable West Side Story brawl. They vie for the title of “Most Fleeting Wild Edible”. They prance and preen. They cut and thrust. They dance and sing Sondheim. Most years, it ends in a draw. Both ramps and fiddleheads only last for a few weeks at most. Once the virulent green machoism dies down, they understand that they can live in harmony. Indeed, they must.
Fiddleheads with Maître d’Hôtel Butter
- Bowlful of Fiddleheads
- 1/2 cup unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp chopped Parsley
- 2 Ramps (leaves and bulbs) OR 1 clove Garlic, finely minced*
- Fancy Sea Salt (love Maldon salt, in fact it’s a separate line item in my budget)
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. You need a lot of water or the fiddleheads will taste gummy and slimy. Rub as much of the brown papery bits off the fiddleheads as possible. Rinse fiddleheads. Boil for 7-8 minutes. Drain and discard water (duh – it’s gummy and slimy;-). The fiddleheads are now ready to be taken in any direction. In our case, Maître d’Hôtel butter. I don’t know who the original hotel manager was, but I’d like to buy that genius a Kir or whatever they’re drinking in France these days. Probably Aperol Spritz.
Mix remaining ingredients together until well blended. Heap hot, cooked fiddleheads into a bowl and top with a pat of Maître d’Hôtel butter. Garnish with paprika (optional). Extra butter can be frozen in pats.
*NOTE: Ramps (or garlic cloves for that matter) are not a traditional ingredient in Maître d’Hôtel butter. But if they’re willing to bury the hatchet, it’s incumbent on us to facilitate their efforts.