These bright green fronds lend themselves to many of the same uses as asparagus. Here they shine with a simple dressing of butter and lemon juice.
24 freshly-picked fiddlehead fern fronds
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Remove the dry, sheath-like papery particles from the fiddleheads. Fill a medium bowl with cool water; add 1 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Add ferns, and push them down into the water several times to clean them. Transfer to paper towel to drain.
2. On a steamer rack set over an inch of water in a saucepan, steam fiddleheads, covered, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fiddleheads, and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.