This weekend I had the opportunity to do a couple of fun spring activities for the first time this year. It’s hard to believe that it’s still spring, with all the warm weather we’ve been having, but my visit to the market made that very clear.
I started my weekend with a trip to the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market. I wrote about the market last year, but I was especially excited to check it out in it’s new location – the market has moved from its previous home in a parking lot across the street to the beautiful Pittsfield Common. The atmosphere is so much more spacious, upbeat and welcoming. I could definitely see myself enjoying a picnic after shopping later this summer.
There were about 20 vendors at the market on Saturday, but the available produce made it very clear that we’re still early in the growing season. As far as I could tell, there was arugula and micro-greens, but no real lettuce or other greens. Everything looked great, but I wasn’t able to purchase the whole week’s worth of produce I’d been craving (I am dying for our CSA shares to resume).
Nevertheless, I didn’t leave empty handed. I was thrilled to discover a vendor with asparagus, fiddlehead ferns and rhubarb. Can you get a selection more “springy” than that? Brian talked me down to just two of the three and I left the market happy with asparagus and fiddleheads.
I’d never made fiddleheads before, but Brian and I ordered them at Hops and Vines a couple weeks ago and they were amazing. I started off by reading and following the guidelines on this page from UMaine, which my mother shared with me last year because she knows I’m the type of person who would cook fiddleheads. My fiddleheads weren’t nearly as impressive at the ones at Hops and Vines – mine ended up pretty soft – but they were good. I’d make them again, if I’m lucky enough to stumble upon them at the market.
Simple Spring Fiddleheads
- 1 pint fresh fiddleheads scales removed and rinsed clean*
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons total olive oil and/or butter
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt to taste
- *More info on prepping fiddleheads here
- Fiddleheads have been connected to foodborne illnesses and must be pre-cooked before preparing them for eating. To do so, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the fiddleheads and cook for 15 minutes at a rolling boil.
- After the fiddleheads are done boiling, drain them using a colander.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil/butter in a medium sized skillet at medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the fiddleheads and toss them in the hot oil/butter and garlic mixture. Add the lemon juice and salt. Toss to distribute the flavors evenly and serve.