Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I was invited to go Fiddlehead picking last weekend.
High boots and cold weather clothes were suggested.
We drove to a secluded field and started a long hike near the creekbeds and streams.
The fields were green with rye grass and other grasses for summer hay. The sun was out but the wind blew cold. 

A loyal Border Collie, Queen, galloped around the fields and swam through the streams while we searched for the ever elusive Fiddleheads.

I started to feel a bit like Euell Gibbons.

There were miles creekbed to search. Most of the places we went to the fiddleheads were not ready yet.

We found lots of Fiddlehead clumps, but nothing coming up within the clump.

We kept walking as we headed North.  It was getting colder.

Then we hit the Mother Lode.   Little green heads were emerging from fiddlehead clumps.

We started picking 1/3 of the heads in each clump.  You never pick all the fiddleheads that are emerging from clumps. You must leave the majority of them so you will always have a crop to return to in future years.

They smell like spring. And they are easy to pick. We found thousands of clumps hidden on the embankment of a stream.

 These are a bit too long to pick if they are longer than your finger.

These have gone by and will escape the pickers bag for now.

 The coolness of the past week has kept the majority of the fiddleheads from opening all the way up.
Lucky us.
It was a good day for picking if you came dressed properly for it!

The fields were green but there was still fresh snow on the mountains and it was 28 degrees in the field.

By the time I got home I had a good 15 pounds of Fiddleheads.

A good reward for an hour of picking!

Now they had to be soaked in cold water to get the brown leaves off.

And then steamed, like asparagus, before you can really eat them.

NEVER eat Fiddleheads raw. Never.  

After you steam them you can marinate them in Italian dressing.  Very delicious. They are even better on the 2nd day.

I had some with scrambled eggs for breckfast. A little sprinkle of salt and butter pump up the flavor of the Fiddleheads.

There are lots of great ways to eat fiddleheads.  Here is a good resource for more information:

If you don't have a good place to go Fiddleheading, then consider picking Dandilions.
They are plentiful and delicious!!!
I like them steamed with a bit of butter on them, but I recently had them steamed and then I tried some vinagar on them, and that was wonderful too.

 Great in salads, or as a steamed spinach and some folks make a smooth dandilion wine out of them too!
Photos, recipes and good info:

If you really feel brave and adventurous you can also go pick Stinging Nettles and cook them up as your "Spring Tonic" against allergies.
I love foraging for good eats.

Next adventure will be hunting for wild ramps next weekend and more fiddlehead picking!

Tell me about your adventures eating weeds.  Got any good recipes or good links to read more info?


  1. Oh, I so wish I had someone to take me fiddlehead hunting. They are long gone by here. We had some (bought in a store) last month.

    So cool you've got people to teach you about these things!!

  2. I have dug and eaten 4 5gallon buckets of dandelions this spring. I cook some salt pork in water, add peeled quartered potatoes and then the greens. Yummy!
    For the last week,I've been eating steamed Fiddleheads in wholewheat pasta with Parmesan cheese. Another yummy!

  3. Ramps are fantastic. I'd love to have my own little patch of them.