Ramps and Ferns

By next week, ramps season will be gone until next spring. Get them while you can.

Fiddlehead ferns run for about two weeks in most locales. The season usually begins in early April in the South until mid to late July in Canada. Some people think they taste like pond scum. For me, however, they remind me of asparagus. They have a delicateness that’s accentuated when briefly sautéed in butter.

Wild asparagus and ramps frittatta, fiddlehead ferns sautéed in butter


  1. Joe

    Trader Joe’s here was carrying packaged fiddleheads from Oregon one year, so I gave them a try. They were okay, but didn’t wow me; I much prefer asparagus, and the fiddleheads tasted more like a type of green than asparagus to me. I thought I remember the cooking notes I had read indicated they needed longer than a brief sauté… I seem to remember steaming them. Do you parboil or blanch before sautéing or anything?


  2. Hi Joe.

    Usually prep involves removing the chaff and then a quick boil in salted water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately shock in ice water to halt the cooking process, then proceed as normal with your recipe.

    Hope that helps.


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