Tag Archives: fiddleheads

Linguine with Fiddleheads, Tomatoes and Pesto


1 pound fiddlehead ferns

1 pound linguine pasta

4 oz. prepared pesto

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 c. yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Fresh parmesan cheese, grated



In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the fiddleheads until they are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the fiddleheads from the water and shock them in a bowl of ice water (unless you are going to use them immediately).

Drop linguine into the same pot of boiling water used for fiddleheads. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute fiddlehead ferns, green onions, and tomatoes for 2 minutes. Add pasta and pesto to skillet. Season with cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Stir gently to heat through and to coat pasta with sauce.  Garnish with parmesan cheese.  Serves 4.



Week 21: Fiddleheads



It is finally spring on the New Hampshire Seacoast!  The snow has melted.  Crocuses, hyacinths and daffodils are blooming. And the local farmers markets will begin soon – with an abundant selection of organic meats and cheeses, farm fresh eggs, breads, and early produce – lettuce, spinach, peas and fiddleheads.


“What is a fiddlehead?”   Fiddleheads are the furled fronds of an ostrich fern. They get their name from their resemblance to the head of a fiddle or violin. Fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height. Bright green specimens are best with only an inch or two of the stem.

A number of fiddlehead festivals are held in New England to celebrate the arrival of spring. Maine celebrated its 3rd Annual Fiddlehead Festival in early may and Vermont is celebrating their First Annual Fiddlehead Festival at Mount Snow Valley this weekend,  May  23-26,  with music, cooking classes and contests, children’s games and fiddling contests. Vintners, artists, distillers, publishers, cheese makers, weavers, potters, jewelers, chefs, photographers, farmers, and artisan chocolatiers will be showcasing their products.  For more information, visit http://vermontfiddleheadfestival.com.

Culinary Uses

Fiddleheads taste somewhat like asparagus or young spinach, freeze well and are easy to prepare. Do not eat fiddleheads raw as they can be the source of food-borne illnesses.  Rinse in cold water, steam or sauté with butter. They can be added to salads, omelets or grains.

Health Benefits

Fiddleheads have antioxidant activity, are a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and are high in iron and fiber. Certain varieties of fiddleheads have been shown to be carcinogenic.