Do you know Food52? If not, leave this blog immediately and go check them out. (But then come back, please.)
Food52 stole my heart this spring, and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been following them from the get-go. The site has created this incredible community of home cooks, inspired by two founding ladies, Amanda and Merrill, who I would love to meet someday. Amanda and Merrill, and now their team, are based in Brooklyn – check out this video to see the inside of Amanda’s kitchen (I would kill to have this space): http://vimeo.com/5133553
I really dig Food52’s mission – create a place where home cooks can exchange recipes and support each other in the kitchen. Sounds simple, but these people are all over the place now. What I wouldn’t give to learn about their business strategy… They’ve cultivated a partnership with Whole Foods, won a James Beard Award, and have a bajillion contributing writers from the likes of places like Bon Appetit magazine.
The other intriguing thing that I think gives Food52 its luster is that there are so many components: they have Feature articles written by contributors, recipe contests for the community, and community-sourced recipe collections – meaning that they encourage you to write and upload your own recipes via their system and contribute to the growing library. You can “save” recipes to your own collection in a very Pinterest-y way, too.
But I’m getting sidetracked. The point in rambling on about Food52 was that they encouraged me to try fiddleheads. This post is overdue, because I actually bought the fiddleheads on the same day that I tried the ramps (Potato, Bacon & Ramp Potato Salad).
Fiddleheads are super freaky looking. They’re a fern and, like ramps, available for only a few weeks in the spring. I think they’re hilarious looking, but had no idea what to do with them. One user at Food52 suggested making a Fiddlehead Frittata.
Oh, also, it seems that if Food52 likes your recipe, they’ll test it out in their own kitchen and then post their photographs (beautifully done) and notes about the recipe.
Here’s the thing about frittatas: you really do have to have the right pan. Sure, cast iron looks beautiful, but the most important thing is the size. I’ve fallen into the trap of using a regular, medium-sized skillet and ending up with more of a pancake than a frittata. I would recommend 6-inches or under if you’re going to make the full recipe.
The other crazy thing about the fiddleheads is that when I bought them at the farmers market, the vendor warned me that “they don’t sit so well with some people, so cook them well and beware you might get sick.” What?? I was already tied to using them, but that made me somewhat nervous. (Spoiler alert – it was all fine.)
Note that this is a basic frittata recipe, and you could throw whatever veggies you want in there. Think of it as an upscale omelet.
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 lb fiddleheads
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
- Wash the fiddleheads under water, doing your best to gently remove any brown fuzz. Boil a large pot of water and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Strain fiddleheads and trim ends (until the curly part). Set aside
- Beat the eggs with a whisk, and ddd the ricotta cheese. It’s fine if you have a few clumps. Set aside.
- Clean the mushroom and cut into quarters. Mince the garlic gloves.
- Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a 6-inch skillet (or cast iron pan, if you’re fancy, but make sure it’s oven safe) over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until mushrooms are browned, about 6 minutes. Add cooked fiddleheads, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sautee for another minute or two until everything is tender but not mushy.
- Lower heat to medium, and add chopped parsley (reserve a little parsley to sprinkle on top of the finished frittata).
- Add the egg and cheese mixture to the skillet. Cook until eggs begin to set (they won’t jiggle when you move the pan), about 10-12 minutes.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and finish cooking under broiler, about 2-3 minutes. Cool slightly and carefully slide it out onto a plate. Sprinkle with parsley, cut, and serve.