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Submitted by Sarah Amado


  • Ostrich fern fiddleheads

  • Water

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Fiddleheads are the young, coiled leaves of the ostrich fern. You can find these plants growing in sun-dappled forested areas, moist woods, river bottoms or even in the shaded areas of your yard!  

The stems of this plant are smooth and hairless (not fuzzy or hairy). Newly emerging fiddleheads will also be covered in a golden brown, papery sheath. 



  1. Harvest fiddleheads by snapping off coils by hand or using a scissors. 

  2. Use a strainer to rinse fiddleheads and remove outer layer of golden, papery sheath. 

  3. Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil and boil fiddleheads for 10-12 minutes. (This step is very important, as undercooked fiddleheads are toxic and can produce food poisoning symptoms in some people - don't let this scare you from trying them though, they're worth it!) I like to boil mine for 15 minutes.

  4. Strain fiddleheads and blanch in cold water.

  5. Add salt and pepper. Eat as a side dish or add it to a stir fry! Yummy!

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