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Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

Photo © Molly Watson
This simple sauté highlights the fresh flavor of fiddlehead ferns with a savory richness of browned garlic. Note that grapeseed or vegetable, not olive, oil is called for—you want a neutral, clean flavor that won't compete with the delicate fiddleheads. Similarly, if you choose to use the garlic or shallot, slice them rather than finely chop or mince them—the bigger pieces will keep their flavor from overwhelming the pretty ferns.

Learn more about fiddleheads and find great fiddlehead recipes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 Tbsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • 2 tsp. grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or 1 small shallot, sliced (optional)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (completely optional)


  1. Trim and rinse fiddleheads, removing any brown ends or mushy parts.
  2. In a large pot bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add salt and fiddleheads. Cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add fiddleheads. Cook, stirring, until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, if you like, and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and just starting to color, about 1 minute. Salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Can't eat just one!, Member mainahgurl

My family and I eat a lot of fiddlehead ferns during the spring and we love them. It seems like we eat them every night while they are in season and this recipe gave them a little something extra. I love the delicate green flavor that they have and the garlic just added to the yum factor! However where the flavor is so delicate I did use just a little less garlic, one clove will do.

67 out of 69 people found this helpful.

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