Monday, April 03, 2006

Fiddleheads and Ramps!!!

Spring is in the air - well, at least it was last Thursday - and you know what that means - FIDDLEHEAD FERNS!!! The world's greatest vegetable begins its incredibly short growing season in a few weeks, so now is the time to place your order. Stephanie and I first tasted these wonderful delights at Hugh Acheson's Five & Ten restaurant in Athens, Ga a few years ago, and we have been ordering them from Earthy Delights ever since ( They're not cheap, but they're absolutely worth it.

Fiddleheads are the shoots of the ostrich fern. They are harvested a couple weeks after breaking through the soil when the plant is curled back on itself like the head of a violin. Their flavor is deep and earthy, and they are best quickly sauteed in olive oil with a bit of lemon. Or you can do like we do and order three or four pounds of them and try to invent new combinations. They're only around for about a month, so don't miss out.

And while you're at it, buy a pound of ramps, i.e. baby leeks, for grilling or pickling.

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