GET TO KNOW THIS UNIQUE, WILD INGREDIENT: FIDDLEHEADS!

Spring is in season, so let’s break out some new ingredients to try in the kitchen!  Culinary nutrition Expert Anne Assassi shares how you can use this ingredient in her latest recipe: Steelhead Trout with Fiddleheads and Ramps.

You know what I get really geeky excited about? Ingredients that are only available seasonally!

Living in California, I’m fortunate in that I can eat a lot of locally-sourced fruits and vegetables year-round. My Whole Foods Market in San Francisco probably looks a whole lot different than the NYC Whole Foods in February.

But when it comes to foods that I can only eat once a year for a few months, I’m extremely grateful for that opportunity. Every single time.

It’s spring, so fiddleheads are officially in season!

Fiddleheads are ferns that grow wild in North America. They’re tasty, and some compare them to asparagus although the texture or flavor are not exactly similar. You’ll just have to try them for yourself to find out! They are definitely unique.

Fiddleheads are the young fronds of edible ferns that emerge as curled leaves. They must be harvested for consumption before they unfurl, and must be cooked thoroughly before eating. Their unique taste comes from their high levels of vitamin C: 100 g contains 44% of your daily required amount! Their deep green color comes from containing rich amounts of beta-carotene.

Do note that you’re not supposed to eat fiddleheads raw because they can cause some stomach upset. They’re also WILD, so they need to be cleaned really well too.

Check out this recipe for steelhead trout with fiddleheads and ramps. And you want to know what my favorite part about this recipe is, besides it just being extremely healthy? That someone actually went out into the forest to forage all of these wild ingredients for me! Spring is such a great time of year.

Steelhead Trout with Fiddleheads and Ramps

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

  • 8oz fiddlehead ferns, washed thoroughly
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (24 oz) steelhead trout fillet
  • 2 bunches ramps, about ½ lb, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

LEMON RICE

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • Lemon pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Get the full recipe and instructions!

Anne Assassi, MS, RDN is a private practice dietitian and health coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lover of home-cooked culinary creations, Anne helps individuals discover the art of healthy eating as an enjoyable creative experience in our homes that allows us to be our healthiest selves. Connect with Anne to create your most inspired and healthiest kitchen!

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