04/14/2014 04:41 EDT | Updated 06/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Fiddleheads Recipes: Grilled Fiddleheads, Risotto And Pizza

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Nick Secord of fiddlehead grower and distributor NorCliff Farms Inc. suggests you can swap fiddleheads for broccoli and asparagus in your favourite recipes. Or here are some other recipes to try featuring fiddleheads.

Fiddleheads on the Grill

3 dozen fiddleheads

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter, cut into 0.5-ml (1/8-inch) cubes, or olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garlic, to taste

Lemon wedge

Boil fiddleheads for about 5 minutes. Rinse with cool water, then cut off stems.

Toss fiddleheads in butter and sprinkle generously with garlic, salt and pepper, making sure butter and seasonings are evenly distributed.

Place fiddleheads in centre of a large piece of aluminum foil. Bring together two opposite sides of foil, fold and press ends together to form a pouch.

Place on a heated grill for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping once. Opening foil package carefully to let steam escape, remove fiddleheads and place in a serving dish. Squeeze with fresh lemon.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.


Fiddlehead Risotto di Pomodoro

250 g (1/2 lb) fiddleheads

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

250 ml (1 cup) brown rice

250 ml (1 cup) salsa or homemade pasta sauce

45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper

50 ml (1/4 cup) red kidney beans

50 ml (1/4 cup) chickpeas

50 ml (1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

50 ml (1/4 cup) mozzarella cheese

Clean and cook fiddleheads. Clean fiddleheads with cold water, rinsing several times until water looks clear. Cut off black ends of fiddleheads.

Bring 1 l (4 cups) water to a boil. Add 5 ml (1 tsp) salt. Add fiddleheads (make sure they are totally submerged; otherwise, they will turn black). Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from boiling water, drain and run under cold water so they remain tender-crisp. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook rice as directed on package.

On the stovetop, combine rice with fiddleheads, salsa and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans and chickpeas, then cheeses.

Top each serving with additional Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.


Fiddlehead Pizza

Additional toppings may be added, such as pepperoni, grilled chicken breast, spinach, chorizo sausage, black olives, red onion and/or scallions.

Thin Crust

1 packet dry yeast

5 ml (1 tsp) sugar

175 ml (3/4 cup) lukewarm water (38 C/100 F), divided

750 ml (3 cups) unbleached plain flour (organic), plus extra for kneading

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) garlic powder (optional)

Crust: In a bowl, combine yeast, sugar and 50 ml (1/4 cup) of the lukewarm water. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes. When mixture doubles in size it is ready for use.

Combine 500 ml (2 cups) of the flour with salt in a bowl or food processor. Add garlic powder, if using. Mix well.

Add yeast-water combination and 50 ml (1/4 cup) of the lukewarm water to flour mixture and mix well. Continue adding remaining flour and lukewarm water and mix until ready to knead. This will take about 30 seconds in a food processor. If using a bowl, mix with a spoon or hands until you have a neat ball.

Place in a greased bowl and turn dough over to grease top. Cover, set in a warm place and let rise for 2 hours.

Lightly sprinkle a working surface with flour. Turn out dough and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly cover fingertips with flour if mixture is sticky.

Using a floured roller, roll out dough to fit a lightly oiled pan that is 30 to 36 cm (12 to 14 inches) round or square. Place dough in pan and press out to form a slight lip. Then make an edge with the lip.


250 ml (1 cup) fiddleheads

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

Salt and pepper, to taste

45 ml (3 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

Fresh rosemary, thyme or herbs of choice, chopped

1 can (398 ml/14 oz) crushed tomatoes

50 ml (1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese

175 ml (3/4 cup) mozzarella cheese

Bring 1 l (4 cups) water to a boil and add 5 ml (1 tsp) salt to water. Boil fiddleheads for about 8 minutes or until tender. Drain fiddleheads and towel dry. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine olive oil, garlic and rosemary and brush over dough from centre to edges.

If desired, combine tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper; spread over pizza dough (leave 1 cm/1/2 inch at edge free of toppings if crusty edge is desired).

Sprinkle Parmesan over pizza crust, then top with fiddleheads and other toppings as desired.

Bake in a 180 C (350 F) oven for about 30 minutes, checking to be sure crust doesn't get too brown. During the last 5 minutes of baking sprinkle mozzarella over pizza.

Makes 1 pizza (8 to 10 slices).

Source: NorCliff Farms Inc.

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