I haven’t had Paku salad in more than four years so I was eyeing the fiddlehead ferns at my mom’s garden for months. However, she said no; she planted the ferns for an ornamental purpose and not for a gastronomic whim. Awww…. When market day came, she bought two bundles of fiddleheads from her “suki” greengrocer.
Though there are some dishes I enjoy with this edible fern, I like it best served as a simple salad. It took me less than 10 minutes to prepare this dish. Here’s how I did it: First, I boiled a pot of water and I also prepared a bowl of cold water with ice cubes. While waiting for the water to boil, I washed the stalks of fiddlehead ferns then cut them into about 4-inch length.
Second, I blanched the ferns for about 20 seconds; I put them in a metal strainer to immediately draw them out from the boiling liquid. Third, I put the blanched ferns into a bowl of cold water I prepared earlier (30 seconds would do). This “ice plunge” would cause stasis, stopping the cooking process. As a result, the stalks retained its fresh-green color and firmness. After that, I drained and chilled them.
Fourth, I unevenly chopped four medium-sized tomatoes and one small onion; I decided not to mince or dice the red and orange-colored tomatoes for a whimsical touch. Fifth, I prepared the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, I mixed 1/4 cup of SilverSwan Cane Vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper.
Last, I plated the dish — blanched and chilled fiddlehead ferns topped with mixed tomatoes and onions. Then, I poured in the sweet-sour dressing into the salad. Delightful…