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How to Pickle Fiddleheads

The growing season for fiddleheads in Canada is mercilessly short – only about two months. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy this highly nutritious superfood throughout the year – including pickling. Here’s how:

  • 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • Kosher salt (see amounts below)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (per jar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds (per jar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns (per jar)
  • 2 allspice berries (per jar)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed (per jar)
  • 2, 250-ml mason jars, cleaned and sterilized
  1. Place fiddlehead ferns in a large bowl of cold water and wash well. Trim the ends off of each fiddlehead.
  2. Add two tablespoons of salt to two quarts of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add fiddleheads and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Place spices and garlic cloves into the bottom of each jar. Pack fiddleheads into the jar and add hot pickling liquid to cover.
  4. Wipe rim, apply lid and ring and process in a small boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove jar from canner and let cool on a folded kitchen towel. When the jar is cool enough to handle, remove the ring and check the seal.
  5. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for up to one year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly. Allow the pickled fiddleheads to age for at least a week before eating.
Small-batch recipe courtesy of Serious Eats.

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