I’m constantly amazed at the diverse bounty Vermont has a lot to offer in the way of local food. We love our farmers, bakers and ice cream makers. These are all essential to the locavore diet and I’d put these products up against any others around the country. Every time I buy I local product I’m proud that it is our state and community that’s a leader in the food sovereignty movement. To me there’s nothing that feels more local than living off the land. While fishing and foraging make up only a handful of meals on our table each year, every one of them is special.
On a recent foraging trip for ramps where we came up empty, we did come across a small forest of fiddleheads. Making to sure to harvest sustainably, we collected a few ounces of fiddleheads and headed home. My two favorite ways to cook them is simply sautéed as a side, or as part of a pasta dish. On this occasion we made a variation of Shelburne Farms Fiddlehead Tart, which turned out more of a pizza. The fid dleheads were true to form, nutty, fresh, and earthy, tasting great with some asiago cheese. They worked pretty well on our tart/pizza and I think this would be a great way to introduce them to a less adventurous first timer. The ferns still had a good crunch and visually were very appealing.
Verdict: A mild winter is still winter so we were thrilled to have these first fiddleheads of 2012.
Foraged from a local watershed, I’d expect to start seeing fiddleheads on grocery store shelves in the next few weeks.