How to clean and store fiddleheads

Whether you’re harvesting your own fiddleheads or purchasing them from the grocery store it’s incredibly important to throughly clean these spring greens before cooking.

fiddleheads

This cleaning washes away the dirt that can get stuck in the furled fronds and gets rid of the brown papery husk that could house tiny critters or bacteria.

fiddlehead close up

Here’s how to clean them:

Rinse fiddleheads under cold running water. Use your fingertips to gently rub away any of the brown husk that clings to the stem or curled up leaves. Also run your fingers along the inside of the v-shaped stem. Collect the gently rubbed fiddleheads in a colander and rinse thoroughly multiple times to remove any dirt.

rinsing fiddleheads

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet and pat dry.

clean fiddleheads

If you’re cooking them immediately, trim the dark end of the stem with a sharp paring knife. If storing them, leave this on and trim just before using. The stem darkens naturally at the point where it’s cut from oxidization because of the high iron content.

trimming fiddleheads

Store the dry, clean fiddleheads in an airtight container in the fridge. Alternatively, refrigerate the fiddleheads submerged in a bowl of water, changing the water daily.

If you’d like to freeze them for future use boil the cleaned fiddleheads in water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry. Freeze on baking sheet in single layer until firm, then transfer to an airtight freezable container. They will keep for up to 6 months.

Looking for an inspiring way to use your freshly cleaned veggies? Try this stunning mushroom and fiddle head pasta dish.

Sauteed Fiddlehead and Mushroom Gnocchi

images: all but bottom, Rheanna Kish; bottom, Joe Kim