Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal: Have a spring adventure with violin sticks
Every spring, for just a few weeks, fiddleheads – bright green coils of ostrich fern that were harvested before unfolding – appear in markets across the country.
Many consider their arrival to be one of the first signs of spring, along with asparagus and broad beans, and ramps (wild leeks), which are easier to find (and even forage) if you’re in it. is.
Fiddleheads taste fresh and green, with a flavor similar to asparagus, green peas, or green beans. There is one difference: they must be cooked before you eat them.
There have been cases of gastrointestinal distress associated with raw, lightly cooked fiddleheads, so Health Canada suggests that after cleaning them (and removing the pieces of brown paper), you either boil them or cook them in the oven. steam for 12 to 15 minutes, before even sautéing, stripping them. (However, there are many skilled fiddlehead foragers who claim that the suggested cooking time is way too long if you want a tender and crispy fiddlehead.)
If you want to freeze fiddleheads, boil them for a few minutes, immerse them in cold water to prevent them from cooking, and freeze them.
Fiddleheads can be used anywhere you might use asparagus – they can be sautéed, sautéed, or added to pasta or salads (after cooking and cooling).
They can be roasted and even broiled, but you can use a cast iron skillet if there is a risk of them going through the grill. You can marinate them or add them to a risotto, frittatas or fried rice, or a vegetarian quiche or gratin. And in New Brunswick, where fiddleheads are abundant and often forage along the banks of rivers and streams during the last weeks of May, they are often made into soup or chowder.
Noodles with oysters and fiddleheads
These noodles can be made with any type of fresh mushroom, ground beef, pork, or tofu. I happened to have oyster mushrooms on hand, and they are wonderfully meaty in a noodle bowl. Of course, you can do this with asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, rapini, or any veg you like.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. peanut or almond butter
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Sesame oil
- 1 large pinch of chili flakes, a drizzle of chili oil or a squirt of sriracha
- 2-3 green onions
- 1/2 lb fresh chow mein noodles (or any other type of noodle)
- canola oil or other vegetable oil, for cooking
- 1 to 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ to 1 cup fiddleheads, steamed or boiled (or raw asparagus or rapini, roughly cut into 1-inch lengths)
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil and flakes or chili oil. Chop the white part of the scallions and if desired, cut the green ends into thin strips 1 to 2 inches long and put them in a bowl of cold water to curl them.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a generous drizzle of oil and cook the white part of the onions and mushrooms for a few minutes, until the onions are tender and the mushrooms begin to turn golden. the edges. Add the garlic and fiddleheads (or any other vegetable) and cook for another minute or two.
Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan and cook, stirring, until it reduces slightly and thickens. Reserve a little starchy cooking water for the noodles before draining them and add them to the pan. Toss to coat the noodles, adding a little cooking water (or some of the onion water from the onions) to loosen them if it seems too dry. Serve the noodles garnished with the onion rings.
Roasted salmon and fiddleheads
It’s more of a method than a recipe – you can cook as much salmon and as many fiddleheads as you need to feed the number of people you’re cooking for.
- salmon fillets
- violin heads
- olive, canola or other vegetable oil
- salt to taste
- fresh herbs, lemon slices or other seasonings
Preheat the oven to 425 ° F and place your salmon fillet skin side down on a sheet of baking paper or aluminum foil. Boil or steam your fiddleheads for about 10 minutes, drain them and pat them dry.
Arrange around the salmon, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, add fresh or dry herbs to your liking (or a smear of pesto on the salmon is delicious), place lemon slices or wedges on or around the fish, and bake for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, until the salmon crumbles easily on a thin edge, but is still moist in the middle.
Serves: as much as you want.
Spring vegetable risotto
Risotto is a wonderfully simple, versatile and comforting spring / summer dish, and easier to prepare than you might think! It’s a great way to use up spring vegetables.
Use this recipe as a blank canvas; sauté some chopped mushrooms in oil and butter (delicious with rosemary!) before adding the rice to the pan, or grate in raw beetroot or tomatoes, add asparagus or fiddleheads for the last minutes of cooking, or stir in handfuls of torn spinach, fresh basil or other green vegetables at the end.
While there are steps here, you can make any amount of risotto as long as you stick to a ratio of about one to four, rice in broth (or salted water) – if you’re cooking for one. alone, about 1/4 cup uncooked rice will do as a starting point.
- 2 tbsp. canola or olive oil (approximately)
- 2 tbsp. butter (approximately)
- 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup short grain rice (like Arborio)
- some wine (optional)
- 3-4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or salted water)
- a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
- a few stalks of asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths or cooked fiddleheads
- fresh green vegetables (spinach, arugula, baby kale or basil), if desired
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter becomes foamy, add the onion and cook for a few minutes, sprinkling with salt, until tender but not golden. Add the rice and stir for a minute or two, until coated with oil and butter. If you wish, add a little wine and cook for a minute, until it evaporates.
Add about half a cup of the broth and cook, stirring often, until your spoon begins to leave a mark on the bottom of the pot. Continue to add the broth about half a cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice is just tender, which should take about 20 minutes. At one point, add the tomatoes – the sooner you add them, the more they will break down into a risotto. Incorporate your asparagus and / or fiddleheads during the last minutes of cooking.
When the rice is just tender, add any fresh greens you wish to add (they should wilt right away), and add the Parmesan and another piece of butter, if you like – it should have a slightly crispy consistency. in your shallow serving dish.
Calgary Eyeopener6:26Julie Van Rosendaal on spring vegetables