Bread and butter style pickled fiddlehead ferns. Make 4 pints jars.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: Fiddlehead ferns, Fiddlehead pickles
2.5lbsfiddlehead fernswashed and cleaned to remove the brown husk
2teaspoonstoasted celery seed
2teaspoonswhole white peppercorns
1/8cupyellow mustard seeds
1small yellow sweet onionpeeled and sliced very thin.
1.5galwaterfor blanching the fiddleheads
Toast the spices, then add them and the vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Add the sliced onions and bring the mixture to a boil, then allow to cool, uncovered.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil then add the fiddleheads and blanch for 1.5 minutes. Remove the fiddleheads to a cold water bath immediately to stop cooking. Drain the fiddleheads well.
Afterwords, add the fiddleheads to the pickling liquid, weight down with a plate to keep them under the liquid and reserve until needed. The pickles will keep in the fridge until next season if they’re in a container with a tight fitting lid, always weighted down to keep them under the liquid. There should be as little air as possible too in the container, since any excess air can cause exposed fiddleheads to mold.
For long term storage, remove the onions from the cooled liquid, then mix with the fiddleheads and pack into pint canning jars ¾ full. Bring the pickling liquid back to a boil, then fill the jars up to the line on the top of each jar, seal tightly and turn upside down to cool and seal. The pickles can also be processed for 10-15 minutes in a water batch canner, but will yield a less crisp result.