Unfortunately for fiddlehead fans, the early spring harvest is far too brief. Fiddleheads are tiny ferns that unfurl their leaves during spring and are a sought-after delicacy.
Each year, NorCliff Farms in Port Colborne, Ont., which is one of the largest commerical growers of fiddleheads in Canada, holds a chef competition for new recipes using the vegetable.
Boswell Scott, a student at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, won first prize in 2009 for this recipe.
Curried Fiddleheads With Chicken
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
30 ml (2 tbsp) mild curry powder
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut in thick slices
250 g (8 oz) fresh or 280 g (10 oz) frozen fiddlehead greens
4 carrots, julienned
60 ml (4 tbsp) sweetened coconut
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, heat oil. Add chopped onion, garlic and 10 ml (2 tsp) of the curry powder. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium-high, add chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
When chicken is seared, add fiddleheads and carrots. Add remaining curry powder and sweetened coconut. Stir well and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: NorCliff Farms.