May 18, 2011

White Beans with Fiddleheads & Lemon

The other evening, while perusing the produce section of my local grocery store, I came across a crate of fiddleheads. I've not seen them before, so I was immediately drawn to them. Deeply green, coiled tightly but in a way that was charming and almost mysterious. Like the shy guy you dated who wouldn't open up, but had a sweet smile and disposition that made you want to know everything about him.

So I bought some. Mostly because I know they're only in season for a short time (May-July), but also because of their name. Fiddlehead. Just say it a few times and try not to smile. I dare you.

I bought them without knowing anything about them. However, I later found out that they can be used similarly to asparagus. Since asparagus makes my heart sing, I figured it'd be easy to make a dish that tasted wonderful.

For those who are curious, fiddleheads are, indeed, quite similar to asparagus in texture and taste. They're quite mild, pair beautifully with lemon, and are just as cute as can be.

So I tossed the fiddleheads with some creamy white beans, fruity olive oil, bright lemon and nutty parmesan cheese. Simple ingredients coming together to make something simply divine; it made for a quick and utterly lovely Springtime dinner.

White beans with fiddleheads and lemon

- 1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed, liquid reserved
- 1/2lb fiddleheads
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2T olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2
- 1t thyme
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- S&P, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish (opt)

- Prepare fiddleheads by cutting off the brown tip. Blanche them in lightly boiling water for 2 minutes, then shock them in cold water.
- Saute shallot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Once translucent, add fiddleheads and saute until tender. Add beans, remaining olive oil, thyme and seasonings and cook until warmed through. Add bean liquid as needed if mixture becomes to dry. Serve in bowls with parmesan sprinkled on top.

Serves 2 as main, 4 as side

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