Another treat that springtime brings is wild edible plants, such as wild asparagus, fiddleheads, dandelions
and wild leeks. They arrive as early as mid-March to the beginning of April. Like spring, their season is tender and short. You begin seeing them at many farmers’ markets, including the St. Lawrence Market, or your local grocery store around this time of year. Why not make a field trip to a nearby forest and harvest them yourself?
From Field to Plate – How to Prepare Them
Fiddle Heads are traditionally a spring staple of Maritime cuisine. The demand for fiddle heads has unfurled across the country, so now these wonderful morsels can be found just about anywhere. Steam or boil them for 10-15 minutes, then serve with a quinoa salad and apple cider vinaigrette. If you like the tartness and earthy taste, grill or sauté with olive oil or butter and eat as a side. They’re a great addition alongside an omelet, grilled salmon, or to accompany your first BBQ steak.
Wild Asparagus: they are hard to find and you need to hunt for them, or make friends with people who know where to find them. Sauté, grill or steam, then toss with good olive oil or butter. Asparagus makes a great addition to pasta, or your favourite frittata, or serve with grated cheddar cheese and toast sticks.
Dandelion Greens are a wonderful spring treat but don’t use them if they’ve been sprayed. Your best bet is to look for them in a farmer’s market or an organic vegetable store.
Fry up small pieces of bacon or pancetta, add washed dandelion greens, sauté a few minutes with chopped mild onions and mushrooms and serve with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. For extra impact, include a few of the yellow blossoms, also edible and delicious!