Fiddleheads can be found in late April and May. Look for them at the farmers market and specialty stores. They are with us for a brief time, so give the fiddlehead a try. Their flavor is reminiscent of asparagus and they are quite dramatic looking in this spring pasta salad. Click this link to: read more about fiddlehead ferns, from our Seasonal Chef.
This is an easy pasta salad to put together and can be perfect on it’s own or with fish or grilled chicken.
- ½ lb fiddlehead ferns
- 1 box bowtie pasta
- Kosher salt
- 6 ramps, cleaned and sliced thin
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons, separated
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, minced
- Ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 cups of micro-greens or arugula
- Ricotta salata, optional
- Clean and rinse the fiddleheads, gently removing the brown papery bits and nip the ends if brown. Boil for 5-7 minutes in salted water, until tender. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions to al dente, in salted water.
- While the pasta cooks slice the ramps thinly and place in the bottom of a large bowl along with the lemon zest. When the pasta is done drain, but don’t rinse!, and place over the ramps. Drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Let it sit for a few minutes. The heat will “cook” the ramps underneath.
- Add the fiddleheads, minced herbs, lemon juice, a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper and toss well.
- Add 1-2 cups of micro-greens or arugula and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper and/or olive oil. If desired, a few nice shavings of ricotta salata!
Once fiddlehead and ramp season are behind us you can substitute the fiddleheads with asparagus, and the ramps with scallions. Cut your asparagus in 1½ inch pieces to match the size of the pasta.