Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
May 09, 2009

Fiddlehead Ferns With Bacon, Browned Garlic and Onion, and White Wine Reduction

By Mark Sisson
30 Comments

As promised yesterday, I’ve prepared an incredibly simple yet delicious Primal Fiddlehead Fern recipe. I originally planned on making a big dish, with lots of ingredients, but I realized that doing so could weaken the presence of the fern. Since these things are relatively rare, I wanted to make sure they were the stars of the show and didn’t get lost in the melee.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound Fiddlehead Ferns
12 oz applewood smoked bacon
1 medium onion
1 large clove garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
Butter
Salt and pepper

Method:
I started by preparing the ferns as mentioned in yesterday’s post: a 3-4 minute roiling boil blanch followed by a cold water bath. At the same time, I cut up the bacon into 1 inch pieces and started cooking it over medium heat.

Once the bacon is getting nice and crispy and is about five minutes from finishing, saute the ferns in a large tablespoon of butter in another pan over medium-high heat. Once the bacon’s done and the ferns have been cooking for three minutes, toss in another dollop of butter and add the garlic (chopped). At this point, remove the bacon, pour out about 2/3 of the rendered fat into a container for later use, and then toss the chopped onion in the rest of the bacon fat over high heat.

Watch this carefully, as the onions will burn quickly. Keep stirring the onions while watching the ferns and garlic. When the garlic is starting to brown, pour in the wine and let it reduce. The onions should be done by now so go ahead and take them out before they burn. As the wine reduces, you may want to add a bit more butter as a thickener.

Plate the ferns and top with salt, pepper, bacon, and onions. It’s a pretty filling dish by itself, or you could serve it alongside a piece of grilled meat, like a lamb leg steak.

If you can’t find Fiddlehead Ferns or would rather not fork over the money (I think you can count me in that boat as long as they’re $20 out here), you can substitute chopped asparagus spears and leave everything else the same. If you live near a local fern source, you really have no excuse not to try it out. It’s a really easy recipe that actually looks quite professional – I usually just go for function over form when it comes to cooking, but the mix of colors was a nice surprise.

The best thing about this is that it’s relatively wide open for additions or subtractions. I can imagine this dish going well with some crushed red chile pepper for heat, or with some grated aged Gouda to add a sharp bite to the white wine reduction. Fresh herbs like thyme or parsley might help, too. If you do decide to try this recipe, let us know if you make any alterations and how it turns out!

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

30 Comments on "Fiddlehead Ferns With Bacon, Browned Garlic and Onion, and White Wine Reduction"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Greg at Live Fit
7 years 4 months ago

Looks delicious. I’ll try this with the asparagus.

Sonagi
Sonagi
7 years 4 months ago

So will I, Greg.

Applewood smoked bacon is the flavor of the month, isn’t it? Is applewood smoked bacon really smoked with applewood and not simply infused with ‘natural’ flavoring and does it really taste different than ordinary bacon?

SerialSinner
7 years 4 months ago

Yaysus that looks delicious

Eric Nuse
7 years 4 months ago

I just picked 10 lbs in about an hour. Took another hour to clean. Here in northern Vermont we’ve also been having a great year getting wild leaks (ramps) They go great with native brook trout or a nice rare moose steak, like I had last night.
I like my fiddle heads as a salad. After blanching and cooling, I just add my favorite dressing – great!

Ellen
Ellen
7 years 4 months ago

OH! that looks marvelous.

Lauren B
7 years 4 months ago

I just picked up 1/4 lb of ferns at Whole Foods for $14.99/lb. It’s be a nice little primal snack. Have everything but the white wine. Will let you know how it goes, Mark!

ben
ben
3 years 3 months ago

you overpayed by about $10/lb

Christine Crain
Christine Crain
7 years 4 months ago

I picked about a pound yesterday at my in-laws and was planning on having some for lunch today! I think I’ll try this recipe instead of just frying up with butter!

LPSisson
LPSisson
7 years 4 months ago
EEXXCCUUUSSEE me, as your 81 year old Dad, I know a few things about fiddleheads. With all due respect to your recipe, it is a desecration of one of nature’s most perfect vegetables. There is nothing more delicious than a pan full of fiddleheads slightly steamed and sautéed in butter. The flavor is indescribably fantastic. My best description would be a blend of mushrooms, green beans and asparagus. The genesis of this primal food stems from New England trout fishing protocol, whereas one would go to the stream or brook as soon as the fishing season opened. He would carry… Read more »
Justin
Justin
7 years 4 months ago

I like mine finished with a dash of white vinegar and salt.

trackback

[…] Mark loves fiddlehead ferns too, and he makes his with bacon! – Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Jedidja
7 years 4 months ago

Wow..they are $4CAD/lb here on PEI 🙂 Going to try this recipe tomorrow and post my results.

pjnoir
pjnoir
7 years 4 months ago

Just saw a contain of Fiddleheads at my local wegmans. Looks like its time to give this a go around.

shaniqua
shaniqua
7 years 4 months ago

hey! i used steam whistle beer (a local pilsner) instead of wine. went realllly well! thanks for the recipe!

Jedidja
Jedidja
7 years 4 months ago

How I miss steamwhistle..why don’t they ship it outside Ontario? (Specifically, to PEI?)

shaniqua
shaniqua
7 years 4 months ago

really, they don’t? i’m surprised!
btw, fiddleheads are about $5/lb in kensington market and about $7/lb at my local grocer here in toronto

colleen
colleen
7 years 4 months ago

Hmm…Never heard of these before but it looks delicious. Wonder how hard they are to find outside New England? I may try this with an asparagus substitute too.

Angie
Angie
7 years 3 months ago

Fiddleheads are available in the wild in the South, too. In fact, anywhere you find a wood with a mature canopy.

Hope that helps.

Greg S.
Greg S.
7 years 3 months ago

This looks good

Dave
Dave
7 years 3 months ago

Just picked 25lbs today about gone by here had a feed last night just boiled in water. eat with butter and vinegar. very good frozen.

trackback
7 years 1 month ago

[…] Daily Apple stellt Farne als Lebensmittel vor und liefert direkt ein interessantes Rezept für Farn mit Speck, Zwiebeln und  Knoblauch. Wenn ich irgendwo Farne auftreiben kann, teste ich das […]

trackback

[…] I noticed that most of the recipes for them involved things like garlic, butter, and onion. I found another that suggested fiddleheads with bacon and white wine, and the rest is history (and […]

Jenn
Jenn
6 years 4 months ago

Tried for the first time this weekend. My g/f blanched them then drizzled with peanut satay sauce (mixed with coconut milk. To die for!
Simple is better for this green.
heard the frozen ones are good also

Chef E
6 years 4 months ago

I am linking this post! I love the idea of bacon with them, maybe even in a quiche!

Chef E

Lisa Cullen
Lisa Cullen
6 years 3 months ago
Love Fiddle heads and Morels, this winter in Ontario we had less snow fall and the morel crop was not so large as it usually is but we managed to forage a decent amount for a few wonderful recipes. May we finally got our April showers and the fiddleheads are showing their fine forms all over my back yard (150 acres of woodland with trails) So we picked our hearts out this morning and are going to give this recipe a try only no wine for me so we are going to sub with Scotch as we often do for… Read more »
Forty2
Forty2
6 years 3 months ago

Cleaning these things is a pain in the ass, but it must be done unless you like eating dirt. 3-4 changes of water sometimes. I blanch them, plunge into cold water, pat dry then saute with butter/lard/whatever and some chopped shallots or ramps if you can get them. It’s a fantastic dish that you can only prepare a few times a year.

Blanching is highly suggested; the blanching water will turn brown and some people do it twice to remove the tannins.

Be sure if you pick your own that they are ostrich fern and not bracken; the latter are carcinogenic!

Andrea
5 years 5 months ago

Hey Mark,
Not sure why my posts were deleted. I am new to blogging; let me know what I can correct. andrearuma@yahoo.com or at work andrea@rumasfruit.com
Thanks
Andrea

trackback

[…] so I was inspired to delve a little deeper into the world of foraging. I found a recipe for Fiddlehead Ferns with Smoked Bacon and Garlic and was intrigued by the idea. Eating ferns? Apparently, it’s a fairly common thing in the […]

george mclaughlin
5 years 4 months ago

check out “fiddleheads (a wild delicacy of maine and the northeast)”when you get to this page click on discussions for many good recipes.you can find it at google.

trackback

[…] price intimidates you, this recipe works well with asparagus, too. It’s Mark Sisson’s Fiddlehead Ferns with Bacon and Carmelized Onions. […]

wpDiscuz