A simple salmon salad with perfectly cooked fiddlehead greens, this is a great fiddlehead recipe for beginners to foray into the wonderful world of fiddleheads.
Fiddlehead Salmon Salad Recipe
A delicious way to enjoy tender fiddlehead ferns, an under-appreciated Spring delicacy, this Fiddlehead Salmon Salad is seasoned simply to allow the delicate sweet, nutty and grassy flavor of the fiddleheads to shine, along with the meaty, umami flavor of the mushrooms and a slight hint of tangy acidity from the garlic.
Salmon and fiddleheads pair together extremely well as both have a natural sweetness, and the texture contrast of the flaky salmon and chewy fiddleheads is oh so satisfying. To add a salty kick to this recipe, you can add chopped bacon or even fry the veggies in bacon fat.
You can swap out the other vegetables and seasonings used in this recipe according to your own preferences or what you have available to you.
What is a fiddlehead fern? Fiddleheads are the tightly coiled young shoots of a fern that has not yet unfurled into a full frond. They are so named because of the visual similarity to a violin. They are often foraged in the wild and in North America, we eat the shoots of the Ostrich Fern. Fiddleheads are only available for a few weeks of Spring and usually just at local farmer’s markets, though I have seen them pop up at small grocery stores in recent years.
While some fiddlehead aficionados forage for their own fiddleheads, it is best to only do this with an experienced guide as shoots from other fern varieties can be toxic. (Also, you want to ensure that you are foraging in approved areas and not on private property.)
How to Cook a Fiddlehead Fern
Fiddleheads are closest in texture to a green bean and can also be compared texture and flavor-wise to asparagus, so they require the same gentle preparation methods to ensure they retain their delicate flavor and crunch. Over cooking fiddleheads can lead to a mushy, less-than-stellar eating experience.
Rinse your fiddleheads well in cold water before preparing to remove dirt. I like to either delicately steam for 5-8 minutes before a quick pan sear, or blanche in heavily salted, boiling water for 2 minutes before draining and then pan searing.
More Fiddlehead Recipes
- Fiddlehead Soup
- Fiddlehead Shrimp Scampi
- Spicy Pickled Fiddleheads from The Spruce Eats
- Roasted Fiddlehead Ferns with Feta from Homemade and Yummy
Fiddlehead Salmon Salad Ingredients
- Salmon Fillets
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Fiddleheads, well cleaned
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves, minced
- Mushrooms, sliced and well cleaned
- Seasoning of Choice <– I like 1 teaspoon of dill for this recipe
- Salad Greens of Choice
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: add salad dressings or seasonings to your personal preference.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Cast Iron Skillet <– I love the versatility of a good cast-iron pan – you can make everything from eggs to dessert in them and they transition easily from the stove to the oven. This one is pre-seasoned and great for even heating
- 9″ x 13″ Casserole Dish <– I love these Pyrex dishes with fitted lids for easy transportation to parties or leftover storage
- Small Saucepan
- Steaming Basket or Colander
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
How to Make Salmon Salad with Fiddleheads
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Oil a casserole dish and place the salmon fillets within it, spacing out as much as possible.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper, plus additional seasoning as desired.
Bake salmon for 20 minutes or until the proteins just start to come to the surface and the flesh flakes easily with a pork.
Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients.
Place a small saucepan of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
Place the fiddleheads in a steamer basket or colander and steam over the boiling water for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and discard water.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
Once hot, add the garlic, fiddleheads and mushrooms. Season to taste.
Cook until the mushrooms are well-cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Prepare 4 plates with 1 cup of salad greens each.
Top each bed of salad greens with a salmon fillet and scoop on the fiddlehead-mushroom mixture.
Serve with salad dressing, if desired.
Grab your free printable for our Fiddlehead Salmon Salad recipe:
- 2 Tablespoons oil of choice
- 4 salmon fillets
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Fiddleheads, well cleaned
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced and well cleaned
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Seasoning of Choice (I like 1 teaspoon of dill for this recipe)
- 4 cups Salad Greens of Choice
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Oil a casserole dish and place the salmon fillets within it, spacing out as much as possible.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper, plus additional seasoning as desired.
- Bake salmon for 20 minutes or until the proteins just start to come to the surface and the flesh flakes easily with a pork.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients.
- Place a small saucepan of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Place the fiddleheads in a steamer basket or colander and steam over the boiling water for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and discard water.
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
- Once hot, add the garlic, fiddleheads and mushrooms. Season to taste.
- Cook until the mushrooms are well-cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Prepare 4 plates with 1 cup of salad greens each.
- Top each bed of salad greens with a salmon fillet and scoop on the fiddlehead-mushroom mixture.
- Serve with salad dressing, if desired.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 612Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 397mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 52g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope you enjoy this simple salmon salad featuring fresh fiddlehead ferns – and let me know if you have other tried-and-true fiddlehead recipes that you love!
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