Similar to asparagus in texture and flavor, cooked fiddleheads are a tasty addition to soups, stir-frys, quiches and omelettes. This delicate springtime pasta is chock-full of colorful veggies for a fresh, flavorful and filling dish.
1 lb fresh fiddleheads, papery husks removed, trimmed and washed thoroughly (TIP: If fresh are unavailable, use 1 lb thawed, rinsed and well-drained frozen fiddleheads.)
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fiddleheads and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well and transfer to a paper towel–lined bowl to dry completely. (NOTE: If using frozen fiddleheads, omit this step.)
In a small bowl, whisk milk and flour; set aside until flour dissolves.
In a large skillet, heat oil on medium. Add carrot and bell peppers and sauté, stirring often, for 2 minutes; add fiddleheads and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Stir in milk mixture, broth, lemon zest and pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until liquid thickens, about 5 minutes.
To fiddlehead mixture, add pasta, lemon juice, basil and parsley and toss to combine. To serve, top with cheese.
This go-to pasta salad is hearty and delicious served cold (but great warm, too!). If your kitchen is getting a bit too stuffy for your liking, head outdoors and take this recipe with you: You can also make the whole thing outside on your grill!