Salad with Fiddlehead Ferns
During the fleeting fiddlehead season this Salad with Fiddlehead Ferns, marinated mushrooms and Swiss cheese is the perfect vegetarian entree salad or something special to bring to a potluck or barbecue.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Salad with Fiddlehead Ferns
Along with the fiddleheads in this beautiful salad, the other big treat: garlicky marinated mushrooms. This dish could be served alongside any type of protein (I love it with grilled steak or fish) or any other side for a festive dinner or get-together in the spring.
Fiddleheads are the tightly wound curls of ferns when they first emerge out of the ground each spring and before they unfurl to become big waving leafy ferns. They taste like crunchy asparagus with a little nuttiness.
- A great way to serve fiddleheads when/if you have them
- Easy and foolproof to make.
- Recipe is easily doubled to serve a crowd
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
- Baby Bella or Cremini Mushrooms: These mushrooms can be used interchangeably in this salad. Their marinade serves as the dressing for the whole shebang.
- Pantry Staples: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar. (See my guide to vinegar for substitution ideas.)
- Fresh Rosemary: Use a 1/2 teaspoon dried if you don’t have fresh.
- Baby Spinach: You could also use a mix of spring greens.
- Fiddlehead Ferns: You can buy them at good produce markets in the spring. So if you’re not cool enough to be into foraging (I’m totally not cool enough to forage in case you were wondering) then you can just buy them. If you can’t find fiddleheads, use chopped asparagus instead.
- Swiss Cheese: You’ll need a block of Swiss cheese so that you can cut it into little cubes. Use cheddar if you prefer.
Step-by-Step Instructions to Make This Fiddlehead Salad
Step 1: Cook mushrooms
Place the mushrooms in a medium dry saucepan, then cover and place over medium heat. Cook, without peeking, shaking the pan occasionally until the mushrooms squeak when you shake the saucepan, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit covered, undisturbed for 10 minutes. Add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Let cool.
Step 2: Blanch fiddleheads
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add fiddleheads and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly.
Step 3: Arrange fiddlehead salad
Arrange greens in a salad bowl. Add fiddleheads and Swiss cheese. Add mushrooms and marinade and toss to combine.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Store this dish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Make this fiddlehead salad one day in advance by completing steps 1 and 2. Store the mushrooms and marinade and fiddleheads separately in the fridge until ready to serve. Arrange the fiddleheads and mushrooms in a salad bowl with the Swiss cheese right before serving.
Yes. If you don’t cook, store, or prepare fiddleheads correctly, they can cause food poisoning.
Absolutely. If fiddleheads are in season while making this recipe, but you know you’ll want to use them later in the year as well, you can quickly blanch them (boil for 2 minutes) until bright green, and freeze in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to one year.
More Entree Salads to Try
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Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Marinated Mushroom and Fiddlehead Salad with Swiss Cheese
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
This vegetarian entree salad has marinated mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns over greens with cubes of Swiss cheese.
- 8-ounces baby bella or crimini mushrooms, quartered (or cut into six pieces if large)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for water
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 cups baby spinach or spring greens
- 2 cups fiddlehead ferns, trimmed and washed (about 7 ounces)
- 2 ounces Swiss cheese, cubed
- Place mushrooms in a medium dry saucepan, cover and place over medium heat. Cook, without peeking, shaking pan occasionally until the mushrooms squeak when you shake the saucepan, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn of heat and let sit covered, un-disturbed 10 minutes. Add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper and stir to coat. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add fiddleheads and cook until crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly.
- Arrange greens in salad bowl. Add ferns and Swiss cheese. Add mushrooms and marinade and toss to combine.
Tip: If you can’t find fiddleheads use sliced asparagus instead.
Freezing Tip: If fiddleheads are in season while making this recipe, but you know you’ll want to use them later in the year as well, you can quickly blanch them (boil for 2 minutes) until bright green, and freeze in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to one year.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 330
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 23 g
Keywords: fiddlehead salad,salad with swiss cheese,spring salad
I’ve never had a fiddlehead! And I’m definitely not cool enough to forage for them. I’ve been wanting to try cooking with them for awhile now… gonna have to be on the lookout for them!
Wow! This sounds amazing. I have never heard of fiddleheads before. They look so strange (in a good way).
Is it wrong that I just want to pet them and give them all names instead of eating them? HAHA
In all seriousness, this recipe sounds great and the photos are beautiful!
this is even beautiful to look at!
I hope i come across some fiddleheads, i only had them once, found them at a farmer’s market in Santa Barbara.
They are a delight! Hope you find some and thank you for coming by Tammie.
I am super jealous of your fiddleheads! here in CA we literally never get them. So sad. I will definitely have to give this a try with asparagus, though!
Oh that is a shame. I love fiddleheads, but never saw them until I spent the spring in Vermont. Thank you for coming by.