Fiddlehead ferns are one of our favorite fleeting spring vegetables—not only to eat but to look at. The baby ferns have all of their fronds wrapped up in a vibrant green spiral, harvested before the fern can unfurl into a full plant. In this recipe, vibrant Meyer lemon juice and zest coat the vegetable with thyme, garlic and Fresno chile for a briny and tart side with a little kick.
This is a simple dish that's ready in less than 30 minutes, and it's all done on one sheet tray. Our only advice is to make sure the fiddleheads are clean before roasting. Though you may get lucky and find a pristine bunch, often the fronds will be covered in a brown husk, so rinse them and lightly scrub off the husk before roasting.
Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns with Meyer Lemon and Capers
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
12 ounces (4 cups) fiddlehead ferns
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ Fresno chile—stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients until incorporated and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until golden and tender, 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter, then garnish with more thyme leaves and serve.
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