Fiddlehead Ferns with Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Lemon Zest

Fiddlehead Ferns with Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Lemon Zest
Staff Writer
Fiddlehead Ferns with Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Lemon Zest

Will Budiaman

Fiddlehead Ferns with Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Lemon Zest

Fiddlehead ferns have a slightly nutty flavor when cooked, and so I thought fiddleheads, toasted pine nuts, and salty, slightly funky pecorino would be a good combination. Lemon zest brightens things up a bit, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil at the end seals in all the flavors.

Click here to see Make Dinner More Interesting — 8 Great Side Dish Recipes.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4  Pound  fiddlehead ferns, brown chaff removed
  • 2  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/3  Cup  pine nuts
  • cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • Pinch of  red chile pepper flakes
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Pecorino romano, to taste

Directions

Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fiddlehead ferns, boil for 10 minutes, and drain.

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the pine nuts and garlic and cook until the pine nuts are golden. Add the red chile pepper flakes and fiddlehead ferns, and heat through briefly.

Transfer to a bowl, toss with the lemon zest, and shave strips of pecorino over the top using a vegetable peeler. Drizzle with more olive oil, to taste.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
35g
50%
Saturated Fat
5g
21%
Carbohydrate, by difference
10g
8%
Protein
6g
13%
Vitamin A, RAE
103µg
15%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
16mg
21%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
11µg
12%
Calcium, Ca
21mg
2%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Folate, total
19µg
5%
Iron, Fe
2mg
11%
Magnesium, Mg
96mg
30%
Manganese, Mn
2mg
100%
Niacin
4mg
29%
Phosphorus, P
69mg
10%
Sodium, Na
24mg
2%
Water
52g
2%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Fiddlehead Fern Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Fiddlehead Fern Cooking Tip

Different vegetables have different cooking times – cook each type separately and then combine.