Fiddlehead & Fennel Salad


This morning I woke up and took our little jack russell Lucy for a walk through downtown Stockbridge.  I love the old homes and especially the old gardens.  The front gardens are laden with antique fern plants and when I see them I wonder if they have been there as long as the houses.


I have always loved ferns and once spent an entire day walking around the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago looking at the vast collection of ferns.  In early spring you can harvest the fiddleheads from the ground before they unfurl.  While I did not do that, I did find fresh fiddleheads at the market and brought a small handful home to create a spring salad with.  They do not stick around long so we love to enjoy them while we can.  This easy recipe makes for a sweet (but filling) springtime lunch.




I began by washing and trimming the ends of the fiddleheads, sliced some fennel and peeled and trimmed some asparagus.



I then blanched all of it very briefly (about two minutes) and allowed it to cool in an ice bath before chopping into small bite sized pieces.



This was all set aside in the fridge while I cooked some tri-colored Israeli couscous.  When it had absorbed all the water and cooled down I tossed it with a mango vinaigrette (mango juice, olive oil, mustard powder and salt and pepper).  I gently folded in the fennel and asparagus and topped it with the chopped fiddleheads… and there you go- easy as pie! This made for the perfect lunch to conclude this long weekend.



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