Fiddlehead Ferns…Spring?

Fiddlehead Ferns with Browned Butter and Prosciutto

Even though it still looks and feels more like early winter than late spring around Boston, an intriguing local springtime item has suddenly appeared in the produce section of my local Shaw’s (of all places)…fiddlehead ferns. I had never bought, cooked, or eaten them before but was really curious to try.

I decided to cook them as simply as possible in order to see how they tasted. I searched a bit for recipes and ended up using the recipe for “Fiddlehead Ferns with Browned Butter and Prosciutto” that I found here: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/4789959.

I liked the texture of the ferns, crisp and with a bit of snap to them. The flavor is hard to describe — the closest I can come to putting it in words is to say that they taste like the forest. The only feature about them that I found off-putting was their appearance. I hate to say it, but they really did look too much like coiled-up caterpillars for my liking. They will not be available for long, and maybe I’ll try them again next year (perhaps battering and frying them would make them more appealing?).

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