Fiddlehead Ferns


Fiddlehead FernsServes 4
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


  1. 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.
  2. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 186F/85C.
  3. Drain the fiddleheads and pat them dry. Put them into a cooking pouch, grind some pepper over them and vacuum seal.
  4. Submerge the pouch in the water oven to cook for 45 minutes.
  5. When ready to finish, melt the butter in a pan (not non-stick) over medium high heat.
  6. 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.
  7. Season (if needed) with additional salt and pepper and the lemon zest.
  8. 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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