l think I’ve found the cutest vegetable there is – fiddleheads!
Ok, so you’re probably wondering “what the heck are fiddleheads?!” Until last year, I too had no clue what they were. Had never heard of ’em, but I was intrigued by this unique vegetable!
Fiddleheads are the curled fronds of a young fern and are harvested during spring before the frond matures and uncurls. They are a telltale sign of spring and are only available for a few weeks, so if you currently don’t have any try and find some quickly before it is too late! You can usually find them at farmers markets or at other places that sell locally sourced products. They are bright green and taste similar to asparagus. In short, they are a perfect spring treat!
Fiddleheads can be prepared in many ways – saute them, roast them, blanch them… basically you can cook them like you do asparagus. They must always be cooked prior to eating as consuming them raw can cause illness. Food safety and all. Boil or steam your fiddleheads prior to use! You don’t want to get sick, so please really make sure you don’t skip this step.
Let’s move on. They are also incredibly versatile for different dishes – throw some in a pasta or stir-fry, make a soup, enjoy them on their own as a side dish, or make a tart with them like I’ve done here. Lots of choices!
The first time I tried cooking with fiddleheads last year unfortunately was not one of my best dishes. I over-boiled them and they sadly ended up being a bit too mushy for my liking. Everyone has a kitchen fail sometimes, me included! It happens, and you learn from it! When I saw them at the market again this year I decided I would try again. Never give up, right!?
This tart is the perfect spring meal in my opinion. Not only do you get to enjoy the delicious fiddleheads, there are decadent caramelized onions, garlicky mushrooms, and creamy and earthy gruyere. Heaven, my friends.
The puff pastry crust… guys, why have I never tried this before!? It’s amazing. It’s crisp and flaky, sturdy enough to hold the toppings, rich and buttery…. just wow. I enjoyed eating the crust almost as much as I did the rest of the tart! I am definitely going to need to come up with more recipes using this stuff because I am now it’s number one fan.
This dish is a good one to make if you want to try a new vegetable, or if you have some extra fiddleheads laying around you need to use up! No fiddleheads available? You can totally make this tart even after fiddlehead season is over and just sub in asparagus!
Ultimately, you need this meal in your life. Impress your friends and family by making this savory tart this week. Let’s get cooking!
If you try this recipe please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, post on the Zest & Simmer Facebook page or share photos on Instagram using the hashtag #zestandsimmer. I’d love to see it!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup fiddleheads
- 1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere
- 2 sheets puff pastry (397g)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add onion slices and stir to coat with oil. Spread them out evenly over the pan and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 15-20 minutes until caramelized. You may have to reduce the heat to medium low during the process to prevent them from burning, depending on your stove. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In same skillet, heat the other tbsp of olive oil and add in mushrooms are garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, until just softened and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- On a floured surface roll the two puff pastry together into a rectangle shape, mine ended up being approximately 13"x9". Place onto baking sheet, and with a knife lightly score the dough 1 inch from the edges, making a rectangle. On the inner rectangle, pierce with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven.
- While puff pastry is baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in fiddleheads and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, and run cold water over the fiddleheads to cool them. Set aside.
- Once you have removed the puff pastry from the oven, press down on center of dough to flatten if it is risen too much. Spread caramelized onions evenly over the dough, and then top with the cheese. Spread the mushrooms and fiddleheads even over top of cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the crusts are golden.
- You can substitute asparagus for the fiddleheads if they are currently not in season.
Spring is a tasty season!