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
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.
I’m an old soul. My favorite Saturday morning activity is watching birds on the feeder while drinking strong, black coffee out of my favorite hand-thrown mug. My favorite place to kill time is in antique stores. The less organized the better. I like full-bodied red wines and bitter IPAs. I live for feeling the warmth of sunshine and hearing the stillness of freshly fallen snow. I can thank my stint in Alaska for that. I have salt water in my veins, having grown up in Eastern NC, and (shhh…don’t tell any of my Mainer friends this about me) I prefer blue crab over lobster.