Fantastic Fiddleheads for Friday!

Today’s Friday by the way… did you know?

Two posts in one week, this is pretty unbelievable. Don’t get used to it because I’ll going on hiatus again very, very soon. However,  I believe I promised some time ago to share a new recipe and that time has finally arrived. Not only that but it’s fiddlehead season!

Fiddleheads, which are only around in the spring, are edible shoots of a fern. I’ve never had them, Tyler “claims” he’s never had them (although I specifically remember him saying a few years ago that he loved them…) and ’tis the season, so why not? We bought them, went home and made lasagna, completely forgetting about the fiddleheads until two days later…whoops.

There are a few things about fiddleheads that are important to know before you prepare them. I did my research this time (unlike the horrifically amateur plantain incident) and made sure not to under cook them because of their “potential foodborne illness“.  Basically- don’t eat them raw, cut off all that gross brown crap, clean them well and cook them until they are done.

They look a bit nicer after they’re tended to.

I read that if you like asparagus then you would like fiddleheads, so I wasn’t worried about their taste. I was pretty unsure how this dish would turn out though, considering I was kind of just making it up and using what I already had. I was very pleasantly surprised when I absolutely loved it. I don’t know if it was the creaminess the cheese gave it or the saltiness that the bacon gave it, but it was so yummy I was delighted when we had leftovers.


Bacon and Fiddleheads on Rice

Make Rice:
1 ½ – 2 cups rice (I made 2 cups, but I think it was almost too much)
1 ½ – 2 cups water/broth (water amount depends on what kind of rice you’re making, follow your rice’s instructions. I always make rice in broth by the way, I used vegetable this time)

For the rest of the dish, you will need:
Fiddleheads, properly cleaned and cut
6-8 slices of bacon (depending on how much you like bacon)
1 cup broth (I used vegetable again, I think chicken would’ve been good too)
½ cup white wine
¾ cup- 1 cup grated Romano cheese (I used closer to a cup I think, but we love cheese)
2 cloves garlic
splash of oil for the pan
pepper to taste (you don’t need to add salt, believe me)

While the rice cooks, cook the bacon and the fiddleheads (I chose to steam them over a pot of water, bay leaves and garlic cloves, you can also boil them).  I prefer to bake bacon (at 350°F) rather than frying it. You still need to watch it and flip it once, but you can make so much more of it in the same amount of time without hot oil splattering in your face, that my friends, is a bonus.

When the bacon is done (don’t let it cook too much, you’ll be throwing it in a pan soon) and cooled, chop it up into decent sized chunks, maybe the size of a quarter or half dollar.

When the fiddleheads are done, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for a few minutes. Add the bacon, fiddleheads, ¼ cup of wine, ¼ cup of cheese and ½ cup of the broth.  Mix it up and let simmer for a few minutes,  stirring occasionally. Add the rice, and the remaining broth, wine and cheese.  Add pepper to taste and mix it up so the cheese melts and any excess liquid boils off.

If the rice had cooled before adding it to the pan, keep it on heat long enough to warm up again. Otherwise this dish is ready to serve and at! I served a mixed green, raspberry and walnut salad on the side- yum!

Needless to say this recipe didn’t require much work, which also gives it a few bonus point in my book. It can easily be modified with different veggies and meats, and you can choose to not add the rice to the pan and just serve the meat and veggies with the sauce over the rice. Don’t cha just love variety??

Happy Weekend Y’all.


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