Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddleheads lend themselves to many of the same preparations as asparagus. Here they are served warm, but they also make good hors d'oeuvres served in a vinaigrette.

  • Servings: 8
Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 1996


  • 24 freshly picked fiddlehead ferns
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Remove the dry, sheathlike papery particles from the fiddleheads. Fill a medium bowl with cool water; add 1 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Add ferns, and push them down into the water several times to clean them. Transfer to paper towel to drain.

  2. On a steamer rack set over an inch of water in a saucepan, steam fiddleheads, covered, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fiddleheads, and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.


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