Tag Archives: Vegetables

Roasted Fiddleheads

New Englanders are quite familiar with this unique produce.  However, I imagine that for most people, fiddleheads are some sort of alien vegetable.  We had never heard of them prior to arriving in Maine, but upon seeing a display of these dark green coils piled high at the farmers’ market, we were immediately intrigued and excited by this local delicacy.

Fiddleheads 2

The unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern are only available for a short time every spring: from about the end of April through the beginning of June.  These wild vegetables are harvested along the banks of rivers and streams when the fronds are between two and six inches off the ground and the fern is still tightly curled up like the scroll of a fiddle.

You know it’s spring when you see the fiddleheads.

Fiddleheads 1

This year we tried out a couple of new preparations.  Here is a quick and easy one.

Roasted Fiddleheads!

1 pound, or so, Fiddleheads

1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 medium Red Bell Peppers

Zest of 1 Lemon

3 Cloves Garlic, sliced

1/2 Cup Black Olives, sliced

Salt and Pepper to taste

First things first, clean the fiddleheads by removing any brown colored or woody stem ends.  If there is any of the papery brown chaff stuck on, you’ll want to remove that as well.  Most often that has already been removed.  Then rinse the ferns well in 2-3 changes of water.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the fiddleheads for about 3 minutes.  Place in an ice bath until cool.  Strain them out and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 500F degrees.  Put the fiddleheads in a bowl with the olive oil, bell peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper; toss well.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and add the fiddlehead mixture.  Roast for 6-8 minutes stirring once halfway through, they should be cooked thoroughly, but not mushy.

Roasted Fiddleheads and Peppers

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving bowl.  Toss with the lemon zest and black olives.  Finish with a sprinkling of flaked sea salt and a lemon wedge.

Roasted Fiddleheads 1


Late Summer Veggie Tart

Our son’s school was having a harvest festival / potluck last weekend, and after more than two weeks of traveling around the country, we had accumulated a bunch of veggies from our Grant Family Farms CSA share.  This was a great opportunity to move through some produce.  It tasted great and there wasn’t a bit left to take home.

Summer Veggie Tart


2 Cups Flour (I subbed in .5 cup whole wheat flour)

1 Egg

Pinch of Salt

8 T Butter at room temperature

Cold Water



1 bunch Parsley

1 large Clove Garlic

2 sprigs Thyme

1/4 cup Olive Oil

2-3 T Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper



1/2 Cup Bacon, chopped

2 Yellow Squash (Or preferably a mix of yellow squash and zucchini)

1 Eggplant

1 Onion

1 tsp Thyme

3 T Bacon fat (or olive oil)

Salt and Pepper

2 Medium Tomatoes

1 Red Bell Pepper

Fresh Basil for garnish

For the crust, combine the flour and salt together in a bowl.  Stir in an egg, then add the butter and quickly mix it in with your hands until the flour is of more or less even coarseness.  Then add cold water by the tablespoon until you can gather the dough into a ball, about 3 T.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, lightly press into a disc shape and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Now add the parsley, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic to a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) and grind to a saucy paste.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Lightly grease a 10-12 inch tart plate with butter or olive oil.  Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Pat it into the tart plate and pre-bake for about 10 minutes, until it just starts to color.  Then set it on a wire rack to cool.

Turn the oven down to 400 F.

Thinly slice the onion, squash/zucchini, and eggplant.

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon stirring occasionally.

Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and pour off excess bacon fat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent about 5 minutes.  Add the eggplant, squash and thyme saute until the veggies are tender.

Thinly slice the tomatoes.  Stem and seed the bell pepper and sliver.

On the crust, spread the parsley vinaigrette and when the veggies are ready, add them to the crust pressing in evenly.

Sprinkle with the bacon.  Top with the tomato slices and red pepper slivers in a nice decorative fashion.  Bake for about 30 minutes until the top starts browning and the tips of the pepper blacken slightly.

Allow to cool slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


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