If you have never had a fiddlehead then you haven’t lived! They are an un-ripened fern that tastes similar to asparagus. Native to the north-east coast this seasonal vegetable is a real taste of spring. When I was young I always knew spring had arrived when fiddleheads began to appear at the Byward Market. We would buy a huge basket of them and fry them up with butter and garlic.

It had been years since I feasted on this tasty fern as they were even hard to find in Toronto. I quickly discovered very few people had ever had one or even knew what they were. For years I told Greg about this wonderful mysterious vegetable without ever finding some for him to try.

The other day we stopped at Central Market to pick up a few necessities and to my surprise I found fiddleheads in the produce department! Unfortunately for us the price of $14.99/pound made our purchase quite small but in the end well worth it. I paired it with my high protein low fat cottage cheese Alfredo sauce which was welcomed after a long workout on Katy Trail.

So if you are lucky enough to live in Ottawa right now or any city in the north east make your way down to the local farmer’s market and pick up some fiddleheads! Trust me you won’t be disappointed, unless you wait too long and have to wait until next year.

NOTE: Do not eat fiddleheads raw! They might make you sick. You have to soak them, boil them for 15 minutes and then fry them in butter. Enjoy!

1 Garlic clove minced
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 16oz tub fat free cottage cheese
¼ cup fat free sour cream
1 Tbsp. fat free cream cheese
¼ cup Parmesan or Asiago cheese
3 Tbsp. Skim milk
1 Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
½ Tsp. red pepper flakes
Juice from 1 lemon
½ Tsp. sugar

Whole wheat fettuccine
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
½ red pepper
½ green pepper
½ yellow pepper
¼ cup fiddleheads or asparagus

Fill a bowl with cold water and place the fiddleheads inside. Allow them to soak for 5 minutes.

In the meantime fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place cleaned fiddleheads inside and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.

In a food processor pulse cottage cheese until smooth.

Fill the large pot with more water and bring to a boil. Cook 1 inch diameter of fettuccine pasta according to package directions; about 10-12 minutes.

In the meantime heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add bell peppers and fiddleheads and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan sauté minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat for one minute. Pour in cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon juice and milk; stir to combine. Sprinkle sauce with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and sugar. Lower heat and let simmer.

Combine cooked fettuccine with sautéed vegetables and Alfredo sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 2