Sautéd Fiddlehead Ferns

Thank you Juanita QFC for special ordering me some fiddlehead ferns – I have five pounds to play with – woo hoo!

fiddlehead fernsFiddlehead ferns are the coiled heads of the ostrich fern that grow profusely along stream banks from parts of Canada to the as far south as Virginia.

A springtime delicacy, fiddleheads are packed with vitamins and minerals.

Picking them is the easy part, but cleaning fiddlehead ferns is a must, thanks to a brown, papery protective sheath. Failing to remove this chaff results in bitter fiddleheads.

Since this was my first time cooking with fiddleheads, I decided to keep it simple.

I sautéd the fiddlehead ferns along with shallot and garlic in a little olive oil and butter, then drizzled with balsamic and maple syrup just before serving.


fiddlehead ferns2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fiddlehead ferns, washed, cleaned and thick ends removed
Pure maple syrup
Balsamic vinegar

Add olive oil and butter to a skillet, then add garlic and shallot and sauté over medium heat. Once fragrant, add the fiddlehead ferns and gently stir to coat. Continue cooking until until just tender while retaining a bit of crunch. Transfer from skillet to serving dish, drizzle with balsamic and maple syrup and serve.


If you make this recipe, snap a pic of your dish and hashtag it #kellylenihancooks. I'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

NOTE: All images and text on this website are protected by copyright. Please do not post or republish this recipe and/or images without written permission from Kelly Lenihan. If you want to share this recipe, please share the link rather than the whole recipe.

1 thought on “Sautéd Fiddlehead Ferns”

  • I was lucky enough to be at the dinner table when these lovely delicacies were served. This dish is delicious and only available for a short time. Buy some and enjoy this yummy opportunity !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *