I found these treasures by blogging. There is a market that advertises on WordPress that showed me these things in early spring. Some of the local markets stock their products. Since I signed-up to receive emails from many of the local markets near my home, I was invited to indulge myself! After a short bus ride, I had a bag of fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms, and I found something that appears similarly to a dragon fruit (pitaya) called a kiwano . The only thing missing in my bag was ramps, but the market had sold them all. I am happy that I had ramps a couple of weeks ago.
The morels have a firm texture and they have an extremely pleasing strong nutty flavor. Brillat-Savarin calls morel mushrooms the truffles of America. These were so exciting that I imagined myself eating 1 pound of them sautéed in butter. A fiddlehead fern resembles the scroll of a violin (or the head of a fiddle). The flavor of a fiddlehead fern is very complex. Some people describe the flavor as being similar to asparagus, spinach, artichokes, or mushrooms. The flavor is assertive and exciting. The kiwano fruit is filled with edible seeds floating in gelatin. The flavor of the gelatin is similar to cucumbers. I put a diagram at the bottom of this blog post to help remove the confusion for putting grill marks on a steak by turning a steak 90°. I recently talked about steak in my blog post Steak And The Still Evolving And More Exciting Vegetable Ragout, and I believe that the diagram is accurate.
I boiled the fiddlehead ferns for 15 minutes in salt water. Boiling for 15 minutes is probably not blanching. Since they are not being blanched, use very little salt since the ferns will absorb the salt. Thomas Keller blanches vegetables using a 1 cup to 1 gallon ratio of Diamond kosher salt to water. People should probably consider boiling fiddlehead ferns in salt water using a 1 teaspoon to 2 cups ratio of Diamond kosher salt to water, or less. I should have steamed these fiddlehead ferns. I sautéed the morel mushrooms in unsalted butter. I sprinkled a pinch of salt over the mushrooms.
Steak Grilling Diagram