Note: Fiddlehead ferns are the young shoot of ostrich ferns, reputedly the safest fern to eat. Occasionally fiddleheads produce a heat-labile toxin that can cause acute gastrointestinal distress from consuming raw or incompletely cooked fiddleheads.
- 1 quart (.96 liters) ice cold water
- ½ lemon, for juice and zest
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
- 2 dozen fiddlehead ferns, trimmed to remove any brown or dry spots
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) butter
- Fill a medium bowl with cold water and add the salt and the juice from the lemon; add the fiddleheads and soak them in the water to clean them.
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 186F/85C.
- Drain the fiddleheads and pat them dry. Put them into a cooking pouch, grind some pepper over them and vacuum seal.
- Submerge the pouch in the water oven to cook for 45 minutes.
- When ready to finish, melt the butter in a pan (not non-stick) over medium high heat.
- Drain any liquid from the pouch and put sauté the ferns in the butter about 2 minutes on each side, until slightly crispy and golden.
- Season (if needed) with additional salt and pepper and the lemon zest.
- Serve hot as a side dish.
Variation: Serve tossed into cooked angel hair pasta, with aged parmigiano reggiano for a light spring supper.
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