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fiddleheads with shitake mushrooms and pasta

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I often see fiddleheads at our local whole foods and at farmers markets. Always been curious to taste them and try them out!

some info I found on wikipedia – fiddlehead ferns, grow wild in wet areas of North-East North America in spring. Fiddleheads are a traditional dish of northern New England (especially Maine) in the United States, and of Quebec and the Maritimes in Canada. they are not cultivated and are available only seasonally. fiddleheads are harvested in early spring.

little miss weasel has some great info and pictures as well!

I found a few recipes out there for various versions of sauteed fiddelheads but I really wanted a pasta recipe. The few I found were pretty simple. Then I found one that called for shitake mushrooms and gnocchi. It sounded really yummy! So I went with it but used rigatoni instead. I really liked the fiddleheads! So did Chris which was a bit surprising! Will definitely be something I make every spring.
sauteed fiddlehead and mushroom gnocchi from Canadian Living

ingredients
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
2 cups (500 mL) fresh fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed
1 pkg (500 g) Gnocchi pasta
1/3 cup (75 mL) grated parmesan cheese

Preparation
In large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Add shallot and garlic; cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook fiddleheads until bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove and rinse under cold water; drain and set aside.

Add gnocchi to boiling water; cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

Add fiddleheads to mushroom mixture; cook, stirring often, until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.

Add gnocchi, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and reserved cooking liquid; toss to coat. Pour into serving dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: May 2012

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