Fiddleheads are so crisp and sweet, they’re the perfect counterpart to the salty bacon in this recipe for Bacon and Fiddlehead Spaghetti!
Nova Scotia is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and even after all our travels it still takes my breath away. (I’m totally not biased… I swear) Between the rolling green hills and the foggy rocky shores, the rows of apple trees and grapevines, the lighthouses and sandy beaches, there’s something that just makes it home. And that’s not even considering all the food! Blueberry grunt, seafood chowder, garlic fingers… It’s hard not to visit this place and fall in love.
Nova Scotia and I have a complicated relationship (as it does with many of its citizens).
And because food is how I show my love (my Italian is showing), this summer I’m starting a series that is my love letter to Nova Scotia and all its amazing food!
I Say Nomato has always focused on cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. Now I’m taking it to a whole new level by sharing recipes featuring all of the amazing local produce Nova Scotia has to offer! This will be an ongoing series over the summer and into the harvest, showcasing ingredients as they come into season.
Today’s recipe uses FIDDLEHEADS! There couldn’t be a better way to start this series than with these gorgeous, healthy (and appropriately named) vegetables.
What is a fiddlehead, you ask? These, my friends, are fiddleheads!
They are… shaped like the head of a fiddle.
Fiddleheads are ferns (usually the ostrich fern), cut just after they begin to grow in the spring, but before they begin to unfurl. They are crunchy, crispy, and just a little sweet. Cut too late, they can turn bitter. But get them at juuust the right point and dang, are they ever amazing! What they remind me of most is asparagus, but crisper and sweeter. In fact you can replace asparagus with fiddleheads in almost any recipe!
Fiddleheads are also packed with vitamins and nutritional value, especially Vitamin A and potassium. Read more about them here! I seriously don’t know how these haven’t been swept up in some sort of superfood craze yet.
Let’s get on to our recipe for Bacon and Fiddlehead Spaghetti! The first thing you want to do is to boil your fiddleheads for at least 10-12 minutes, and then dump the water out to remove any bitterness. Some varieties can be toxic until they are cooked, so make sure that you get yours at a farmers market or other reputable place of business – picking your own can be sketchy unless you know exactly what you’re doing! Sauté them in butter or oil, and add in your garlic (because of course we’re adding garlic, don’t even).
Get them nice and crispy!
Add your bacon in, along with some mushrooms and onion if you want to add them! Cook them all, stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft and the bacon is crisp.
Add a dash of cream and then toss your spaghetti on that sucker. Give it a good stir until everything is mixed together and the spaghetti is coated.
Aw fiddleheads, you’re so pretty!
They’re only around for the month of May, so now’s the time to enjoy them! Dig in!
- 2 cups of fresh fiddleheads (Clean! Make sure to remove any brown papery bits and trim the ends)
- 16 oz . (~450g) package spaghetti
- 1 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 3 strips of bacon
- 2 Tbsp cream
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 yellow onion and/or 4 oz. (~110g) button mushrooms, parmesan cheese.
In a pot on the stove, bring water to a boil and boil the fiddleheads for about 10-12 minutes until they are soft. This helps to remove some of the bitterness, so you will want to dump this water and start a new pot for your spaghetti.
Set a pot of water to boil for spaghetti and cook according to package instructions while you complete the next steps.
In a pan, melt your butter or add your oil. Add fiddleheads, and sauté until lightly browned (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Add garlic, bacon and optional onion and/or mushrooms.
Cook until the vegetables are soft and the bacon is crispy.
Add your cream and stir.
Add your spaghetti to the pan and stir until everything is combined.
Serve with optional parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.