Fiddleheads, or the furled fronds of the Ostrich fern, are foraged every spring. If not cooked thoroughly, they can make you sick. I tend to cook them a little less time than called for because I don't like mushy veggies. But for the sake of best-practice, this recipe ensures well-cooked fronds. Fiddleheads taste somewhere between an asparagus and a mushroom. If you can't find fiddleheads or if they're not in season, use slightly-threatened asparagus (whole or cut) or lightly-sauteed sliced wild mushrooms in place of the fern fronds. —Mary Catherine Tee
- Serves 8
store-bought or homemade pie crust
fiddleheads (read note above)
garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
goat cheese, crumbled
- To prepare the fiddleheads, trim the bottom stalks from the shoot. Once well-trimmed, rinse well, doing the best you can to rid them of the brown papery skins. Bring 6 cups of water and a healthy pinch of salt to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add fiddleheads and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain fiddleheads in a colander and run under cold water to halt cooking. Note: it’s okay if the water you drain is a little brown.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fit the pie crust in a 10 inch pie plate. Trim any overhanging dough and crimp the edge if you're feeling fancy. Note: if using a homemade pie crust, consider adding pie weights and baking for 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is firm and lightly browned. This will make for a crispier quiche crust. If using store-bought, this step isn't necessary.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Add the milk, cream, and salt. Whisk until everything is well-combined.
- Spread fiddleheads along the bottom of the pie crust. Crumble goat cheese over the fiddleheads. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the goat cheese.
- Pour the egg and milk mixtures over the fiddleheads and goat cheese.
- Bake until the center of the quiche has set and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Cut into 8 wedges and serve.