Fiddlehead Fern and Caper Pasta
Recipe Type: Main, pasta, side
Serves: 4 servings
Have you tried fiddlehead ferns? If not, now is the time. Sauté them in butter and serve them with a simple lemon pasta.
  • 1 pound fresh fiddlehead ferns
  • 2 tablespoons butter (I recommend salted, but feel free to go the unsalted route, if you prefer!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (approximately ½ of a lemon)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • (Optional):
  • 1 additional tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound Pappardelle OR Tagliatelle pasta
  1. Place the fiddlehead ferns in a large bowl of ice water, and soak for a few minutes. Drain the water, and repeat as necessary until any dirt and particles have been removed. If your fiddleheads have any brown papery chaff on the exterior, remove that as well.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare a separate bowl with ice and cold water.
  3. Add the fiddleheads to the boiling water, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until tender. Remove the fiddleheads from the pot (The water may be dirty! It's okay!) and immediately place them in the ice bath to prevent them from cooking any further.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium heat.
  5. Add the garlic and the capers to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the fiddleheads to the pan, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and toss with the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
  8. If making with the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions [in a separate pot]. while you are boiling the fiddleheads. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter instead of 2, and cook the remaining ingredients as listed. When you remove the fiddleheads from the heat, toss in the cooked pasta, before adding the lemon juice and cheese.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at