Something Wild

In my last post I mentioned that maple syrup was one of the few wild foods you can get in a store, but it is not the only one!

As New England greens up under the (sometimes) warm spring sun there are delicacies to be found in the woods: ramps and fiddleheads. But pay attention; blink and they will be gone.

A ramp is essentially a wild onion. As with many members of the onion family it comes with its own unique flavor profile. It is not recommended that you eat it raw, so sauté it with your favorite food and see what happens.

A fiddlehead is just this glorious baby fern that derives its name because of its resemblance to, go figure, the head of a fiddle! A note of caution; it is not a good idea to eat them raw! It is highly recommended that you thoroughly wash this fern and then blanch it in boiling water. Also, I am not a forager. If you want to go out into the woods read up! Or better yet go out with a knowledgeable and experienced forager who can teach you what to look for and how to behave in an environmentally responsible manner in the wild. The people that provide our local products are all of these things, so you don’t have to worry.

So hurry over to our Produce Department and get ‘em while they are there. Seriously folks, there is food that is only available at certain times of the year! And though we can save that beautiful maple syrup in a bottle and enjoy year round, some things just slip away. Go get ‘em!!

Fiddlehead Sautee
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. fiddleheads
  2. 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 quarts of (salted) water to a boil. Trim any browned ends off the fiddleheads. Rinse thoroughly. Add to water, return to a boil for 2-3 minutes. (the USDA says to boil for 10 minutes, it’s up to you.) Strain. Place in a preheated pan and sauté over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. Yield 3-4 portions.
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Fiddlehead and Ramp Sautee
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. fiddleheads
  2. ½ lb. ramps
  3. 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare the fiddleheads as in the previous recipe. Rinse your ramps thoroughly and trim as necessary. Cut diagonally into ¾ in. strips. Place in preheated pan before the fiddleheads for one minute, then add the ferns and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Now they are ready to add to a scramble, a quiche or a risotto or whatever you desire!
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Marinated Fiddleheads
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. fiddleheads
Instructions
  1. Follow all of the directions for cleaning the fiddleheads and blanching them in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Place them in a strainer and rinse them with cold water and let drain. Now select your favorite vinaigrette and add ½ cup to the fiddleheads. Place into a container with a good lid and in 24 hours you will have marinated fiddleheads! They will last a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. I throw some on my salad every night or eat straight out of the jar while I am making dinner. Yum!
Co-op News http://coopnews.coop/

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Jamie King

Jamie King

A chef at the Co-op for 11 years, Jamie now does inventory control and recipe development for the Prepared Food Department. An Omnivore, his favorite food is chocolate but he will eat most anything. He lives by the lake in Grantham with his lovely wife and their new puppy Maddie. Contact him at jking at coopfoodstore dot com.
Jamie King

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