Spring Fiddlehead Salad


  • 1 cup of Italian salad dressing
  • 2 1/2 cups of fresh fiddleheads, cooked and drained
  • 9 leaves of Romaine lettuce
  • 10 leaves of Red leaf lettuce
  • 2 fresh ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • seasoned croutons (optional)

Italian Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3/5 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (to taste)
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 Tspn dried oregano
  • In a small bowl mix ingredients well and set aside.


Instructions for the Salad:

Wash and rinse fiddleheads well. Drain. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook fiddleheads for 10 minutes. Drain well and place fiddleheads in a glass bowl. Pour half of the salad dressing over the fiddleheads and marinate overnight. Next day, wash lettuce, tomatoes and onion. Shred lettuce and place in a large bowl. Add the thinly sliced onions and tomatoes. Drain the fiddleheads and add the marinated fiddleheads to salad bowl. Toss the salad with remaining salad dressing. Serve with seasoned croutons. Serves 6.


Fiddleheads may have a natural toxin present in them that can cause illness if not cooked properly. Symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and headaches. Symptoms usually begin 30 minutes to 12 hours after eating raw or undercooked fiddleheads. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommend that fresh fiddleheads be carefully washed in several changes of cold water. They should then be thoroughly cooked in boiling water or steamed until tender. Water used for boiling or steaming fiddleheads should be discarded as it may contain the toxin. Fiddleheads should also be boiled or steamed prior to sautéing, frying or baking.

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