Lightly steaming fiddlehead ferns lets them keep just a bit of crispness while also bringing out their fresh, grassy flavor. This is a time to use high-quality, fresh butter since it has its own clean, spring flavor to compliment the steamed fiddleheads.
Note: A serving of lightly cooked fiddleheads is fine for most people, but too many of them can cause some digestive trouble for those with sensitive stomachs and some authorities recommend only eating fully cooked fiddleheads.
- 1 pound fiddlehead ferns
- Garnish: butter
- Fine sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Trim and rinse fiddleheads, removing any brown ends or mushy parts.
- In a large pot, bring 1 inch water to a boil. Put fiddleheads in a steamer basket or insert and place above boiling water. Cover and cook until fiddleheads are tender but still faintly crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Drain and serve hot with butter, salt, and pepper to taste.