Monday, May 20, 2013

So many things to do with fiddleheads! (And one thing NOT to do!)

Things to do with fresh fiddlehead ferns:

  1. Let the fiddles take center stage (on the plate) - simple recipe here!
  2. Serve and Italian feast - recipe here!
  3. Cab or freeze then - here's how!
  4. Spice them up with Emeril- here's how!
  5. Serve them with quinoa - here's how!
  6. Decorate with them - you read that right! Look here!

Here's one thing NOT to do with fresh fiddlehead ferns:
  1. Do NOT consume them raw or undercooked!
Note: Sautéing, stir-frying or microwaving ostrich fern fiddleheads are NOT recommended methods for cooking fiddleheads. Fiddleheads should be boiled or steamed prior to use in recipes which use further cooking methods like sauteing, stir-frying or baking.

Here are the facts:  Fresh fiddlehead ferns have to be thoroughly washed after picking.  (Here at Ruma's, we do this step).  Upon delivery, be sure to wash them again.  Fiddleheads must be boiled or steamed prior to using them in recipes.  Be cautious! 

From our friends at the University of Maine: read more information about consuming fiddleheads

We have fresh fiddleheads for sale! Order here!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Beer battered fried fiddleheads? Um, yes please...

(Did we mention that the fiddleheads are dipped in a garlicky aioli?)

One of our friends who spends as much spare time as possible experimenting in his in the kitchen (you have to love friends like this!) sent us this recipe for beer battered fiddleheads from Dave's Kitchen

Now, you may have already experimented with battering and frying foods (

But this chef (and his problem-solving girlfriend Karol) have a trick to make the batter work for the curly little fronds that are fiddleheads.

You'll need 
For the fiddleheads:
  • canola oil for frying
  • ½ lb fiddleheads
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 6 oz beer, preferably a spring ale
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons carbonated water
Specifics steps from Dave for the fiddleheads can be found here

For the aioli:
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Specific directions for the aioli can be found here:

Now we are heading to the house of our friend-the-experimental-chef  to taste these beer-battered treats!  What are you cooking this weekend!?

We have fresh fiddleheads for sale! Order here!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Know your farmer?

We love spring for so many reasons: working with the windows open; how the house feels after a good spring cleaning; fresh fruit and vegetables from the Farmer's Market.

Tooling around the Farmer's Markets is one of our favorite things to do: whether it's a weekday market or a weekend market, we love the buzz of the crowd, overhearing the tidbits of information from the farmers to their customers, and the variety of goodies that abound!

Looking for a Farmer's Market near you?  Want to find a new one?  Check out this database - within seconds, you can see all in your area!

Knowing your farmer - and where your food comes from - seems 'retro' and 'hipster', no?  Indeed, it's certainly trendy these days.  We are pretty sure our grandmothers (who hung out the laundry to dry, bought rice in bulk, and reused containers from the get-go, before the word 're-purposing' was invented!) would not call themselves 'retro' or 'hipster'.  They'd look at us, furrow their brow, probably say something like " these days..." and call themselves sensible.

We like being sensible.

And we like knowing our farmers - like Dane, here with Jim and Mark Ruma. 

We have fresh fiddleheads for sale! Order here!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

WWJD? (What would Julia do?)

We knew Julia Child had to have a recipe for fresh fiddlehead ferns!  (Well, a recipe for broccoli stew, and this author/chef just substituted fiddles!)  Herewith is Cream of Fiddlehead Soup

As kids, Saturday morning meant eating cold cereal in front of the TV and watching Julia Child's cooking lessons. 

Gather all of your ingredients:
  • 1 lb Fiddlhead ferns
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • ¼ cup flour (plus more later in case you mess up and the soup doesn’t thicken)
  • 7-8 cups hot veggie stock (I used homemade because its pale color kept the soup pretty)
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt & pepper
  • dried thyme to sprinkle on top when serving
The complete instructions are here.

We are loving the addition of the dried thyme to the top - it adds the perfect amount of contrast to the creamy soup!

Tell us what you think!  We are whipping this up tonight!

We have fresh fiddleheads for sale! Order here!

Buy now. Enjoy later.

The good people at Livestrong shared these easy steps to freezing fresh fiddlehead ferns; when the season is over, you'll be able to devour more and more of these nutritious, vitamin packed greens long after the farmers have moved on to their summer crops!

How to Blanch Fiddleheads for Freezing
Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

Step 1: Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat. You can cover the pot with a lid to hasten the boiling process.

Step 2: Drop fiddleheads in the boiling water and wait for the water to come back to a boil. Boil them for two minutes.

Step 3: Drain the fiddleheads in a colander, then transfer them to the bowl of ice water. Let them soak in the ice water for a minute or so.

Step 4: Transfer the fiddleheads using a slotted spoon to a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Pat them dry. Transfer them to freezer-safe containers or bags and freeze.  

Read more of the Livestrong article here

Remember, Ruma's ships nationwide!

Order now!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring is here - that means fiddleheads!

Are you ready to say good-bye to winter!?  Are you ready for a little more sunshine, fresh produce from the Farmer's Markets, and some dining al fresco?  (Ok, maybe you'll be wearing a sweater)

We couldn't agree more!

Looking for a little hint of Spring on your plate?

Ruma's has fiddleheads for sale!
  • 2 lb bags (for a small dinner party)
  • 5 lbs bags (some for the whole family!)
  • 10 lbs bags (invite all your friends over!)
We ship nationwide (Monday-Thursday), so if you start planning now, the delivery will be on your doorstep in no time!

ORDER NOW! The fiddlehead season - just like springtime! - is short!

About Ruma's: Since 1900 when Giacomo Ruma started selling fruit and produce, the Ruma family name has been synonymous with superior quality products and superb customer service. In the more than 100 years since we opened our doors, we have stayed focused on our mission, a strong commitment to both the quality of our products and our customers' satisfaction.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How To Cook Fiddleheads - video!

We know some of you like to follow directions in list form (step one! step two!)

But we also know a lot of you would prefer to watch a quick video on how to cook fiddleheads!  Voila!

Check out this great recipe by "Cooking with Kimberly" clip that shows how to cook fiddleheads, using white wine (or red wine!), lemon juice - and that's all!

It's a great beginner's recipe!

What are you doing with your first batch of this season's fiddleheads?

Remember: Ruma's has fresh fiddlehead ferns for sale in 2 lb bags, 5 lb bags and 10 lb bags! 

Order fresh fiddleheads now!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

FAQs about Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns

We've looked to the experts at University of Maine to help us answer some frequently asked questions:

Cleaning Fiddleheads
Fiddleheads can be cleaned by first placing them in a colander and thoroughly rinse/spray them off with clean cold potable water. Placing the rinsed fiddlehead in a bowl full of clean cool potable water should follow rinsing to remove the remainder of the brown papery coverings, and repeat as needed. They should appear clean at this point.

How do I clean fresh fiddlehead ferns?  First, place them in a colander and thoroughly rinse/spray them off with clean cold potable water. Then, place them in a bowl full of clean cool potable water to remove the remainder of the brown papery coverings, and repeat as needed. They should appear clean at this point.

How do I store fresh fiddlehead ferns? Keep fiddlehead ferns refrigerated until you are ready to cook or preserve them. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

How do I cook fresh fiddlehead ferns? We recommend either boiling or steaming.
  • Boiling Bring lightly salted water in a pot to a rolling boil and add washed fiddleheads. The water should fully cover fiddleheads when added. Bring the water back to a steady boil and hold for 15 minutes. 
  • Steaming Bring a small amount of water to a boil preferably in steam apparatus. Add washed clean fiddleheads and steam for 10-12 minutes. 
Serve at once with optional melted butter and/or vinegar. The sooner they are eaten, the more delicate their flavor.

Note: Sautéing, stir-frying or microwaving ostrich fern fiddleheads are NOT recommended methods for cooking fiddleheads. Fiddleheads should be boiled or steamed prior to use in recipes which use further cooking methods like sauteing, stir-frying or baking.
How do I preserve fresh fiddlehead ferns?  View this great video on preserving fiddleheads from U of Maine!

For more recipes, see the University of Maine's webpage dedicated to fresh fiddlehead ferns!

Buy now:  Ruma's Fiddleheads are here!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Clang Clang Clang! (Ringing Triangle) Fiddleheads are here! Fiddleheads are here!

Fresh fiddlehead ferns have arrived! 

Where does Ruma's get the fiddleheads?:  For over ten years, we have partnered with growers so we can get fresh fiddlehead ferns directly from the growers.  

How much do the fiddlehead ferns cost?: See our website for pricing and click here to order!

How do I prep the fiddleheads?: To cook fiddleheads, remove the yellow/brown skin, then boil the sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings. Removing the water reduces the bitterness and the content of tannins and toxins

Do you have any recipes for fresh fiddlehead ferns?  Take a look below at the recipes we have posted! We also have other recipes on our website!

How long does the season last?: Generally, the season is just a few short weeks in the spring.  Mother Nature is in charge so we never know when the crop will end.  We guess that the 2013 fiddlehead season will end in the beginning of June.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Emeril's Fiddlehead recipe - BAM!

If you love food, and you love entertainment, then you certainly love Emeril!  (We love all three, too!)

We stumbled on his Fiddlehead Fern and Angel Hair Pasta recipe  and had to share:
  • 1 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Grated Parmesan, for garnish
Here's how to do it - BAM!
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the fiddleheads until they are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. 
  2. Remove the fiddleheads from the water and shock them in a bowl of ice water (unless you are going to use them immediately).
  3. Drop angel hair pasta into the same pot of boiling water used for fiddleheads. 
  4. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until al dente.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil. 
  6. Saute fiddlehead ferns, green onions, and red pepper flakes for 2 minutes. 
  7. Drain pasta and add to skillet. 
  8. Toss with truffle oil and salt and pepper. 
  9. Divide pasta among 4 plates and garnish with grated cheese.
Emeril also adds this special recipe at the end for "Essence Creole Seasoning" - sounds divine!
Look at all these recipes we found on The Food Network site!

What are you planning to do with your fresh fiddlehead ferns?

You can buy Fresh Fiddlehead ferns at Ruma's!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We've been Pinning! And we are about to Pickle (fiddleheads, that is)

As we wait for the first crop of fresh fiddlehead ferns to arrive at our store, we have been looking for more ways to cook these little guys.

We found so many great recipes that we had to start pinning them to a board on Pinterest!  Don't you love this tool?!  We do!

We all know how to cook these fiddleheads, but we love how the artistic crowd is using them to decorate such as as a flourish in this bouquet, as a boutineer for the dapper groom.

We have to say, we have cooked fiddleheads many ways, but we have yet to pickle them!  This new pickling fiddlehead recipe is on our list for spring 2013 now!

 From Serious Eats
  • 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed

The How-to:

  1. Place fiddlehead ferns in a large bowl of cold water and wash well. Rub away any brown chaff and trim cut ends.
  2. Add two tablespoons of salt to two quarts of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add fiddlehead ferns and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Place spices and garlic cloves into the bottom of a prepared pint jar. Pack fiddlehead ferns into the jar and add hot pickling liquid to cover.
  4. Wipe rim, apply lid and ring and process in a small boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove jar from canner and let cool on a folded kitchen towel. When jar is cool enough to handle, remove ring and check seal.
  5. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for up to one year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly. Let these pickles age for at least a week before eating.

About the author: Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated pickler who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars.