Fiddlehead season coincides with fly fishing season and I can remember being on the banks of a river, with my mother, as my father fished, looking for the beautiful scroll like heads of the Ostrich fern. Today as I fish my eyes always search for those beautiful unfurled fronds and I can hardly wait to eat them plain with butter, pasta and someday hopefully with a trout that I have caught!
1/2 c fiddleheads, washed and trimmed
1/4 c leeks washed, trimmed and quartered
1/2 c arugula, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2c juliet roma tomatoes washed and quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Zest from one lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c Parmesan, more for garnish
Freshly white pepper
450 g dried spaghetti pasta
Soak and clean fiddleheads. Trim stems. Boil a pot of water and blanche fiddleheads for 2-3 minutes. Immerse immediately in cold water. Set aside.
Wash, dry and finely chop arugula. Set aside.
Clean and quarter tomatoes. Set aside.
Halve leeks lengthwise. Soak in cold water gently removing all dirt. Drain in a large colander, then thinly slice leeks crosswise ¼” thick.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add sea salt and olive oil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander.
Over a medium low heat, in a deep 12 – inch skillet, melt the butter then mix in the olive oil. When the butter and oil are blended, add the red pepper flakes. Heat until pepper flakes are fragrant. Next add leeks sauté until lightly brown and soft.
Then add heavy cream, lemon zest and lemon juice, reducing sauce on medium high for 3-4 minutes or until sauce coats and sticks to a spoon. Add Parmesan, mix until combined.
Add the warm pasta and toss until the noodles are completely coated in sauce add in chopped arugula and tomatoes and fiddleheads. Gently mix until combined.
Divide between bowls and top with more Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.
Make sure the fiddleheads are of high quality. When in season the fiddleheads and arugula can be found at my neighborhood Local Source Market.