Foraging Around

Here’s a sautéed fiddleheads recipe you haven’t tried before.

In 30 years shooting for Down East, contributing photographer Douglas Merriam has been sworn to secrecy before. Last time, it was by duck hunters protecting a favorite hunting ground; this time, it was multiple folks from Michael Burke’s feature on fiddleheads. “From the owner of the processing plant, worried about trade secrets, to the picker, who didn’t want me disclosing his foraging spot, there was an air of secrecy about the whole thing,” Merriam says. He made out okay. A longtime chronicler of Maine’s farm- and forage-to-table scene, he left with a pile of freshly harvested fiddleheads and made this magnificent salad.

When I got home from the shoot with the fiddleheader, I picked some wild dandelion greens and wild asparagus, then sautéed the greens, asparagus, and fiddleheads simply with butter and vinegar. Then I sprinkled the whole thing with some goat cheese and lilac petals growing from nearby (yep, those are edible). It was delicious.

Fiddleheads

Check out more of Merriam’s food photos.


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