Words and Recipe by
The Last Bite: Sauteéd Fiddleheads with Kate's Butter
Fiddleheads are a prized delicacy in Maine, with an intense flavor akin to fresh-picked asparagus. You can find them in your local farmers’ market during their very short growing season but they can also be foraged. If picking your own, be sure to grab fiddleheads from ostrich ferns, which often grow near flowing water. You’ll recognize them because they will have a golden, papery protective covering and a groove on their stem. Make it truly local and delicious, and bring out the best flavors of this dish by using a local butter like Kate’s Butter. Made the old-fashioned way, churned in small batches and from fresh Maine cream, it is one of the freshest, creamiest, most delicious butters you'll ever taste.
1 pound fresh-picked fiddleheads
1 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup Maine bacon, cubed
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
2–3 tablespoons Kate’s Butter
Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Remove any discolored ends of the stems and rinse the fiddleheads in a colander. Place them in a large bowl of cold water and stir, then drain and dry with a towel, rubbing off any remaining golden, papery covering. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, stirring until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add ferns and cook, covered, for 3 minutes. Uncover, add garlic and Kate’s Butter. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until ferns are tender but still slightly crunchy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Chris has always had a love of food and its use as a medium for the creative process. Having spent many years in the restaurant industry he learned as much as he could from every person around him. Chris loves gardening at his home in Greenwood, ME and typically spends each spring planting and each fall harvesting and canning to enjoy his bounty throughout the long Maine winters.