It's Fiddlehead Picking Time
This is a re-post from last year.
If you have never tried canning them before and want to give it a try, head out to the store and buy a case of canning jars for fewer than eight dollars. You will also need a good set of tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water pot during the water bath canning method. If you like it, there are more things you can purchase later to make the job easier.
Canning Fiddlehead Ferns
1/2 tablespoon dill seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five spice
1/2 tablespoon black mustard seed
1/2 tablespoons pickling salt
1 tablespoons pickling spice
1/2 tablespoon juniper berries
3 lbs. washed fiddlehead ferns
7cups cider vinegar
3 sliced red onions
Fiddleheads should be washed and rinsed in ice cold water at least three times to remove any brown casings that grow on the outside of the fern.
Sterilize and prepare the canning jars.
In a large nonreactive kettle, bring the vinegar and spices to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and continue simmering for 10 minutes and stir frequently. Add the fiddleheads and onions into brine, let sit for one minute.
Remove pot from heat and with a slotted spoon, pack the fiddleheads and onions into prepared canning jars. When jars are filled, cover ferns with the pickling liquid, leaving about 1/4-inch headspace. Cover with lids and place the jars back in boiling water to complete the 10 min. water bath.
Makes about 10 half pints. Age 3 months before serving. Now you have a wild tasty way to garnish salads, antipasto, and even a Bloody Mary.