In early spring, the new growth of a fern emerges as curled leaves. Fiddleheads grow in New England and along the East Coast of Canada. I was over joyed when a local farmer mentioned that he had fiddleheads this year and set a side a pound for me. With such a short season, you have to get them before they’re gone.
Fiddleheads are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Good for heart health, a boost for your immune system and proven to help the body create new red blood cells, these little guys pack a big punch. When it comes to cooking them, I personally find that lightly steaming them with butter and salt and pepper is best. I roasted garlic and spread it over them as well. Lots of people enjoy them pickled or steamed with vinegar too. They taste very similar to spinach. Just be sure to give them a good soak/ rinse before cooking, as they grow close to the dirt.
If you find yourself travelling through New Brunswick between April- May, be sure to get yourself a pound or two to try. Paired with any source of protein, you can’t go wrong.
- 1 Pork tenderloin
- 1pd fiddleheads, rinsed
- 1/2 Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 whole garlic
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp cognac or brandy
- Olive oil
- 2tbsp butter
- Salt n pepper
- 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 cup beef broth
- Whole black or green peppercorns
- Cast iron pan
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While oven is heating, place cast iron pan on stove on medium heat. Heat a generous amount of oil in pan. Meanwhile prep tenderloin by rinsing under water, patting dry with paper towel, and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper all over.
- Slice the top off of garlic exposing each clove. Wrap in tin foil with oil, salt n pepper. Place in oven.
- Sear tenderloin, all sides, in hot pan for 20 seconds. Remove from heat and place in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
- In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in oil with whole peppercorns. When mushrooms are lightly browned, remove from pan. Return pan to heat and Add in cognac, watch for splashing. In the same pan, add 1 cup beef broth and let simmer. Next add cream and again, let simmer. Heat should be on low, this allows glaze to thicken.
- On a separate burner, Bring water to a boil for steaming fiddleheads (or which ever greens you prefer). Steam for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter. Allow butter to melt over greens. Lightly season with salt n pep.
- When tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Remove garlic at this time as well.
- Add fiddleheads and mushrooms to hot cast iron pan to keep warm and add Demi glaze over tenderloin.
- Serve and devour.
* for maximum flavour, remove a clove of roasted garlic, spread over a piece of Pork tenderloin, and drown in Demi glaze with a bite of fiddlehead and mushroom. #drool.