Another ingredient that is available during spring is the fiddlehead fern and the last few years I have been enjoying experimenting with them. Fiddlehead ferns are young ferns that are picked before the frond has opened. They are commonly used as a vegetable and their flavour can be compared to that of asparagus. This year I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the fiddleheads, a savoury fiddlehead tart! For the base of the tart I used sheets of phyllo dough and I topped them with some sauted leeks with a bit of garlic and then I covered everything with a layer of gruyere cheese followed by the fiddlehead ferns themselves. I like using phyllo pastry for tarts like this as it bakes up nice and light and flakey and golden brown which is perfect for a light spring meal.
Fiddlehead and Gruyere Tart
A fiddlehead and leek tart covered in melted gruyere on a light and flaky, golden brown phyllo crust.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek, trimmed, cleaned and sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- 3 sheets phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package and cut in half lengthwise
- * olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup gruyere, grated
- 1/2 pound fiddleheads, well cleaned and blanched for 3 minutes
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the leek and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Remove from heat, mix in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Place a sheet of the phyllo dough on a greased baking sheet and brush it with oil. Repeat with the remaining sheets each on top of the last.
- Sprinkle the leeks over the phyllo followed by the cheese and finally the fiddleheads.
- Bake in a preheated 375F/190C oven until the phyllo dough is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
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