Creamy Pasta with Fiddleheads

fiddleheads.jpg
Fiddleheads. Photo Credit: Allyson Kramer
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Fiddleheads (also known as fiddlehead ferns) are a fabulous culinary find during early the Spring season. Fiddleheads are simply the early fronds of a fern, typically from the Ostrich fern. They can only be sourced during a very particular time, as if one waits too late in the season, the ferns will have opened up completely and the plants will not produce more fiddleheads/earky fronds until the next Spring season.

These vegetables are not cultivated making them quite a delicacy as the must be foraged, similarly to how we obtain morel mushrooms.

If you cannot get your hands on fiddleheads, or are just craving a hearty pasta in the off-months, try making this pasta recipe and instead of fiddleheads, sub in chopped asparagus or tender green beans. Even peas or broccoli florets will work beautifully in this recipe to give a burst of green.

What You'll Need

  • 1 box (16oz) of Pasta – if using Gluten Free, I recommend Tinkyada brand
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package (about 350g) firm silken tofu, drained
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours and then drained
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs De Provence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine such as Earth Balance brand
  • 2 cups fresh Fiddleheads (you can also use asparagus, green beans or your favorite veggie)

How to Make It

In a 3 quart saucepan, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta has finished cooking (rinse with cold water if using gluten free), drain and return it back into the pot. Salt lightly and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss together and set aside.

In food processor combine the silken tofu, soaked raw cashews, Herbs de Provence, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil and allow to blend until the mixture is very smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Clean your Fiddleheads. Run them under warm water for 5 minutes to wash gently and remove their papery like covering. In many instances, this papery covering will already be removed, especially if you are sourcing from a grocery store rather than a forest. Yet, you still want to wash them thoroughly to rinse any debris.

Over medium high heat, saute the fiddleheads in the 2 tablespoons vegan margarine until tender, about 10 minutes. Be sure your fiddleheads are thoroughly cooked before eating. Alternatively, you can also boil or steam the fiddlheads for 10 to 15 minutes, again making sure they are cooked thoroughly. Salt lightly and set aside.

Combine your sauce from the food processor with the cooked pasta and warm up over low heat just until hot. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper.  Top with sauteed  Fiddleheads and serve hot.