"Creamed" Fiddleheads On Toast

We anxiously await this time of year; the emergence of fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are the coiled leaves of the ostrich fern, harvested in the early Spring before they've had a chance to open. Many a meal at camp featured a side of these delicate wild greens. They're delicious simply blanched or if you're looking for something a little richer, coat and deep fry the buggers.

We decided to offer a take on creamed asparagus on toast, substituting the seasonal specialty of fiddleheads. My wife's suggestion is to include some fresh nutmeg as you would any b├ęchamel, but I took a pass. I've included it in this recipe as optional. Find yourself a nice, local bakery with a hearty loaf of bread. Here we've used When Pigs Fly Sourdough.

1 pound fiddleheads well rinsed and ends trimmed
6 cups water
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
3 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
generous pinch dill weed (use fresh if you gots)
black pepper to taste
ground fresh nutmeg (optional)
4 slices of your favorite local bread

Season water with approximately 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Drop fiddleheads into boiling water and continue cooking on high for about 10 minutes.

While fiddleheads are boiling mix flour with soy milk and place over medium heat until it starts to thicken being careful not to boil. At this time your fiddleheads should be about done. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Add reserved cooking liquid to flour and soy milk mixture and continue to thicken adding pepper, dill, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Start your bread to toast. Toss cooked fiddleheads with finished "cream" sauce and serve over toast. Serves 4.


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