Peppery Balsamic and Garlic Fiddleheads
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Loblaws Companies Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.
So I have some very exciting news: I have partnered up with Loblaws to be their next Food Alert brand ambassador!!! The Loblaws chain has been one of my favourites for a long time – it's my go-to grocery store for more reasons than one. Their produce is always the freshest and given that I'm a fruit and vegetable connoisseur, I love that there's always a wide variety of seasonal ingredients available at any given time. Needless to say, I'm beyond thrilled that I'll be working with them to create one monthly blog post highlighting their seasonal Food Alert items of the month. For May, it's fiddleheads recipes!
Now I know you're probably wondering: what in the heck are fiddleheads? Before last week, I'll confess that I've never had the chance to try them so this month's Food Alert item was especially exciting for me. Fiddleheads taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans, but have a unique and subtle earthy taste that make them a delicious and exciting possibility for a side dish. Say hello to my Oven-Roasted Peppery Balsamic and Garlic Fiddleheads!
I've seen other recipes that incorporate fiddleheads into pastas, pizzas, soups and more, but since this was my first time cooking with them, I wanted to keep it simple and highlight them as a dish in their own right. I often roast other veggies in the oven with a bit of balsamic and garlic, and I have to say that fiddleheads are absolutely lovely when cooked this way. I'm a firm believer in adding garlic to just about everything. These Balsamic and Garlic Fiddleheads are no exception to that rule!
Roasted in the oven, fiddleheads retain a bit of a crunch, and the black pepper in this recipe adds some additional zest. Pairing ideas for this side dish could include a summery grilled chicken (possibly with a Dijon or white wine marinade), and I could even see these Balsamic and Garlic Fiddleheads as an accompaniment to steak instead of the traditional asparagus or mushroom side.
Fiddleheads are found in the wild so you have to be careful when preparing them. They are the curled, edible shoots of the ostrich fern and are considered a seasonal delicacy – they are available only in the spring in Canada and for a very short time. You need to clean them very well, and cook them for an appropriate amount of time to ensure they are safe to eat.
Using your fingers, remove as much of the brown papery husk on the fiddlehead as possible, and be sure to wash fiddleheads in a couple of different changes of fresh, cold water to remove the rest of the husk and dirt. Either boil them for 10 minutes, or cook them in the oven for the same amount of time. They're pretty easy and straightforward to prepare, and the results are delicious!
As if you need any more reason to try this recipe, Loblaws will be celebrating their featured, seasonal Food Alert item each month with an Instagram contest! Since each Food Alert item will only be available for a limited time, you now have an excuse to get out and try something new, and enter the contest for a chance to win your next grocery shop (up to $250)!
To enter the contest, all you have to do is the following:
- Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram
- Ensure that your Instagram account is public (i.e. account privacy set to “off”)
- Upload an original picture to your Instagram that highlights the monthly Food Alert Item – this month it's fiddleheads
- Include #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove in your Instagram post
Now kick back and start planning your next grocery list – you're well on your way to some serious summer entertaining!
Will you be trying these Peppery Balsamic and Garlic Fiddleheads? If you end up making any recipes with fiddleheads this spring, be sure to tag Loblaws and myself on Instagram – we'd love to see your creations!
Peppery Balsamic & Garlic Fiddleheads
- 1 package fiddleheads 8oz
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash fiddleheads in cold water, doing your best to remove the leaf-like ferns. Because fiddleheads are harvested from the wild, wash them a second time to ensure they are clean.
- Toss in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until combined.
- Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet then put them in the oven, cooking for 8-10 minutes until they are fully cooked. Fiddleheads should retain a bit of crunch to them so don't overcook them!
- Serve and enjoy right away - best with a white wine, chicken or even as a side dish to steak.