Fiddlehead Scampi

1/2 Pound Fiddlehead Ferns

1/2 Pound Angel Hair, Spaghetti, or Linguini

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided

1 Shallot, Finely Diced

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

2 Tablespoons Mirin (or White Wine plus 1 Teaspoon Agave)

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

3 - 4 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped

1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Salt, to Taste

Zest of 1 Lemon

First, prep your fiddleheads by removing any particularly long ends and remaining papery "scales." Wash well, particularly if you did find them yourself out in the wild. Cook in boiling water for a full 10 minutes, drain thoroughly, and immediately plunge them into a bath of ice water to arrest the cooking process. Once thoroughly chilled, drain once more and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, and drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil to prevent the strands from sticking, and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining oil and toss in the prepped shallot and garlic. Saute over medium heat for about 5 - 7 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add in the mirin and lemon juice, simmering for about 2 minutes to allow the alcohol to cook and mellow a bit. Add in the cooked noodles and fiddleheads, tossing to incorporate with the sauce, along with the parsley, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 - 3 more minutes until piping hot, and finally top with the lemon zest.

Serves 3 - 4 as a Side

©Hannah Kaminsky