I couldn’t be happier to see Spring arrive just for the basics. Not having to bundle up every time you go outside, watching new growths on the ground and the trees, opening the windows, being outside during the long evenings and so the list goes on.
But one of the best things is the Spring diet. Where the potatoes, squash, turnips and carrots fall to the wayside and get replaced with asparagus, garlic scapes, radish, mushrooms and fiddleheads. My MamaEarth box looked the best it has all year.
Fiddleheads are the one vegetable that I’m least likely to jump on. They require a lot of cleaning and not being a native Ontarian, I’ve never been a huge fan.
Last year I wrote about their benefits (lots) and a “how to” on preparing them. They are so toxic when raw, that I wonder if we should be eating them at all. This year, I seem to have conquered them and got the hang of it. Now they aren’t hard to prepare and instead of just sautéing them (what I have done in the past), I included them in a Spring quiche. Wow. Even my fussy 5 year old who has sworn off all fruits and vegetables (see previous post), ate it, asked for seconds and then even talked about them the next morning. I’m going to try to find one more batch before their short season is over.
A quiche seems a lot of work but actually once you have the pastry (recipe here), it’s quite simple. Here’s what I did to make a Fiddlehead and Proscuitto Quiche.
Fiddlehead and Proscuitto Quiche
Flaky Pastry Shell
1 lb fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
6 white mushrooms, finely chopped
3 thin slices proscuitto
2 large eggs
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg)
Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Add the fiddleheads and boil for 10 mins. Drain, discarding the water and set aside.
In a skillet, heat the oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes until all vegetables are softened. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix eggs, milk and seasonings.
Assemble the quiche with the onion mixture first, topped with the proscuitto and then the fiddleheads. Pour the egg/milk mixture over top, careful to keep it within the crust.
Bake for 35 minutes at 375ºF or until set and lightly browned on top.
Serve with sautéed bok choy (using same skillet, add a little more oil and sauté washed and roughly chopped bok choy until wilted. Add any remaining fiddleheads that weren’t included in the quiche and season with tamari sauce).