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Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns with Parsley and Garlic


  • 1-pound fiddleheads
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced very fine
  • 1/4 cup butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Trim any brown ends off of the fern shoots and wash them in cold water, pulling the paper-like brown skin off as you go. Drain and pat dry. Crush the minced garlic with the back of a spoon or the side of a large knife. Heat half of the butter (or olive oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fern shoots and turn the heat up to medium-high. The ferns should sizzle, but don't allow the butter to burn. Toss and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the butter (or oil), the garlic, and the parsley. Continue cooking for one minute longer, or until you can smell the garlic and the ferns are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately on hot plates.