Fiddleheads Sautéed with Garlic and Herbs

May 31, 2013

Fiddleheads look like a food contrived by Dr. Seuss, or in Wikipedia’s poet words, like “the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin.” Like wild ramps, these curly, bright green fronds herald the forest’s awakening. They are also foraged from the wild, though you’re likely to discover them at the farmer’s market or grocery store already harvested for your convenience.

What better time for fiddleheads to make their entrance than for my darling husband’s graduation from Cornell Business School, and a home-cooked family feast. Fiddleheads are harvested just before their spiral coil unfurls, or graduates, to full height. They could vaguely resemble the cross-bred offspring of asparagus, chard and string beans. Bottom line: they are delish! This wild edible is packed with omegas, antioxidants, potassium and fiber. According to the New York Times recent article on Breeding the Nutrition out of our Food, fiddleheads are the sort of rich vegetable we should be incorporating back into our diet, more and more. And you won’t regret it – not with this simple, celebratory dish!

Emma Frisch Fiddleheads Sautéed with Garlic and Herbs RecipeEmma Frisch Fiddleheads Sautéed with Garlic and Herbs Ingredient


Fiddleheads Sautéed with Garlic and Herbs

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 side servings


  • Butter – 2.5 tablespoons (substitute with ghee or olive oil)
  • Fiddleheads – 2.5 cups
  • Garlic – 5-6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Oregano – 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • Basil – 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • Rosemary – 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Thyme – 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Submerge the fiddleheads and boil for 6-8 minutes, until they turn bright green and float to the top. Drain in a colander and pat the fiddleheads dry with a towel. This step removes the bitterness.
  2. Next, melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. Add the fiddleheads and sear until they begin to brown and turn a brighter shade of green.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic begins to brown.
  5. Add the herbs, toss for about 1 minute and remove the fiddleheads from the heat.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and dish out!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star