For the past 2 years I’ve found myself partially admiring and partially envying the canned goodies at the Bonlee Grown Farm stand at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday, I swing by for a taste of their latest flavor, but secretly I’m looking for inspiration… Their set-up is always super inviting with their grandmother’esque tablecloths and smiling staff. This past Saturday, pepper relish on my mind, I couldn’t pass up a conversation with the farmers’ daughter Ramy, and grabbed some of these beautiful yellow and orange bell peppers. While I was at it, I picked up a couple different varieties of peppers, including some Lombardo peppers Puerto Rico peppers, from Four Leaf Farm.
Unless you drive a 45 year old cranky Volvo that you named “Pickle”… stupid really… the chances of being defeated by a pickle are slim. Of all the recipes I’ve put on this blog, I’ve only removed one: pickled fiddlehead ferns. It’s hard to remain unbiased when tasting my own pickles, but I figure that some people like different things so even the pickles that I’m not so crazy about (I usually get a second opinion) I leave up. The fiddlehead ferns that I made last May were an exception, they were horrible, salty, mushy, and just horrible! Fast forward a year to when I’m sitting at the bar at Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, NH and I see sautéed fiddleheads on the menu… shutter. They were actually very tasty and the experience managed to negate my dissatisfaction with fiddleheads. Round two? Sweet fiddlehead pickles. Honestly, I had planned on keeping these pickles very very simple with no intention of recreating my previous mess. Who am I kidding, a simple pickle? Ha ha ha. Many online recipe suggestions and hours later, I pulled together a number of recipes as inspiration for these pickled fiddlehead ferns. Fingers crossed that this time I actually like them!
A fiddlehead is the tip of an unfurling Ostrich Fern frond, “quickly snapped off with the flick of the wrist by professional foragers in the wild.” Available for only three weeks per year (during the middle of May), they are generally harvested/foraged in the northeastern United States.