fiddleheads and baby gnocchi
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 2
Fiddleheads are the unfurled fronds of a young fern and are collected in the wild before the frond has opened. A spring-time vegetable, you’ll find them in food shops and outdoor markets. They are called fiddleheads because they resemble the curled end of a stringed instrument such as a fiddle.
  • 250g baby gnocchi
  • ½ cup butter
  • splash olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of fiddleheads
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
  • small handful mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Place fiddleheads in a large bowl of water. Use your hand swish the water around to remove any bits of dirt and remove any brown fuzzy bits – you may want to repeat this process. Strain and remove fiddleheads. Trim any ends that look discolored.
  2. Place in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes or until just tender. Strain and place in an ice bath to halt the cooking process. When ready to use, strain again.
  3. Cook gnocchi according to packet instructions (reserve cooking liquid). In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat along with a good splash of olive oil. Add garlic and mustard. Stir to combine. Toss in strained fiddleheads and cook until heated through. Add gnocchi, bacon, capers, and stir to combine. You may need to add a tablespoon or so of the cooking liquid from the gnocchi. Add a tablespoon of butter to help loosen the sauce (just enough to coat the ingredients). Add a small handful of Parmesan and toss to combine. Serve immediately with chopped mint and Parmesan.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Fiddleheads freeze well. Clean and wash thoroughly then boil in water for two minutes. Drain and let cool. Pack in freezer bags and store up to one year. Enjoy!
Recipe by The Culinary Chase at