Penne with Fiddlehead Ferns, Yellow Wax Beans and Lemony Spinach-Pistachio Pesto 義大利麵與野生蕨菜、菜豆和檸檬菠菜開心果青醬

When I went to the Marché du Vieux Port a few weeks ago, I was very happy to see that slowly, spring vegetables are starting to make their appearance. Besides some lettuce, one of the few greens you'd find are fiddlehead ferns. When I first encountered this rare spring delicacy back in 2010 in New York at a farmer's market, their unusual curlicue shape caught my eyes and lit my curiosity. If I remember correctly, it was just starting to get some "recognition" at the time. Without knowing exactly what it was or how it tasted, my intuition told me to grab a handful of them. I was so excited about it that I rushed home and immediately cooked them that evening! O(≧▽≦)O

Even though it was new for me, something told me that I should enjoy them and prepare them in the simplest way possible. I blanched them and lightly sautéed them in butter, and I was right, it was really delicious just as it was! Today, I want to introduce you a slightly different way to enjoy them, still keeping it simple, so as not to overpower their earthy, slightly sweet, nutty and asparagus-like flavour. They are high in anti-oxidants, carotene, vitamin C, and are also a great source of potassium. Since their season is kind of short, enjoy this new and hip vegetable (yes, veggies can be hip!) as much as possible before it slips away!

Penne with Fiddlehead Ferns, Yellow Wax Beans and Lemony Spinach-Pistachio Pesto (4 servings)

10 oz     fiddlehead ferns (about 4 C)

10 oz     yellow wax beans

4           cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

2 t         fresh thyme leaves

about 8 oz of penne (You can use gluten-free pasta)

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C      lemony pistachio pesto *Click here to see pesto recipe

juice of 1/2 lemon

A: 1/3 C  roasted, unsalted pistachios

    small handful of parsley, chopped

    a little bit of red pepper flakes (optional)


1. In a medium sized pot, heat about 1 quart of water with some salt; in a separate large pot, heat about 2 quarts of water with some salt.

2. Wash both the fiddlehead ferns and the yellow wax beans.

3. Trim off the end of the stem of the fiddlehead ferns and the tip with the stem of the yellow wax beans.

4. When the water from the medium pot comes to a boil, add the yellow wax beans and cook for about 1 minute until partially cooked. Prepare a large bowl with very cold water. Transfer the wax beans to the cold water bowl after taking them out.

5. Repeat the same process with the fiddlehead ferns. Strain both vegetables and set them aside.

6. When the large pot of water comes to a boil, add your pasta and follow the package instructions. *Start this procedure a few minutes before the pasta is done.

7. In a large skillet, heat some extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds, add the fiddlehead ferns, yellow wax beans, and thyme leaves and sauté for about 1-2 minutes.

8. Strain your pasta, but reserve about 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water with the pasta. Put the pasta back into the large pot. Add the sautéed vegetables and pesto and mix well.

9. Place individual portions on each plate. Sprinkle ingredients A and drizzle a little bit extra virgin olive oil and serve.

                                                                                               - Yvonne



義大利麵與野生蕨菜、菜豆和檸檬菠菜開心果青醬 (4人份 )

野生蕨菜        約280 克 *也可以使用過貓或其它蕨類
黃菜豆           約280 克 *買不到也可以使用四季豆
蒜頭              4 粒…稍微切碎
新鮮百里香葉子 2 小匙
義大利筆尖麵 (penne) 約半磅 *也可以使用其它種的義大利麵
檸檬菠菜開心果青醬 1/2 杯 *請按這裡閱讀食譜
檸檬汁 半顆檸檬

A: 無鹽烤開心果   1/3 杯
    荷蘭芹           一小把…切碎
    乾燥紅椒碎片   少許 (不吃辣可以不加)

1. 在一個中型的鍋中,將4杯水燒熱,並加入一些鹽。在另一個大型的鍋中,加熱8杯水,並加入一些鹽。

2. 將蕨菜與黃菜豆洗淨。

3. 將蕨菜尾部與黃菜豆的蒂切除。

4. 當中型鍋子裡的水滾開,放入處理好的黃菜豆,煮約1分鐘至微熟。在煮的同時,準備一盆冷水,將撈出的黃菜豆放入冷水中。

5. 重覆步驟4來煮蕨菜。將兩種蔬菜都瀝乾。

6. 當大鍋中的水滾開後,加入義大利麵,按照包裝上面的指示煮熟。

7. 在一個大型的平底鍋中,將一些橄欖油以中火加熱倒入蒜頭炒30秒至香味溢出,加入蕨菜、菜豆與百里香葉一起炒1-2分鐘。*由於這個步驟的時間不長,等義大利麵煮好的前幾分鐘做就可以了。

8. 將煮好的義大利麵瀝乾,並留2-3大匙的水,再將麵與保留的水倒回大型的鍋中。加入炒好的蔬菜、義大利麵與青醬拌好調味

9. 分等份放入盤中,並擠一點檸檬汁。在上面撒上A料,並倒一點橄欖油即可食用。

                                                                                               - Yvonne

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