Fiddlehead ferns. And pizza. Usually not things that come to mind consecutively. Pizza is often a weekly phenomena in this kitchen and at my local market fiddleheads, so ephemeral in the spring, were teasing me in a basket just out or reach of checkout line at the local veggie market. At nearly $8 a pound it may feel like an investment that can’t be messed with: a splash of olive oil and a few crumbs of good sea salt are safe maneuvers with something that looks like it should be atop a leprechaun’s violin instead of lunch.
The advantage (with edible fairytail centerpiece, sure) of fiddleheads as a pizza topping is that a handful will suffice and still deliver unlike an entire pound or more for just a modest side dish. And those few elegant green swirls look great: tidily curled, teeny leaves gently crisped after roasting in the oven bring some art to everyday nosh. The flavor reminds me of asparagus gone feral meets collards or kale, green and textural with the pleasant imaginings of eating something prehistoric.
What else? A whole wheat crust brings everything together, all smothered in a basil-garlic spiked winter squash puree sauce instead of the ol’ red. I had to make quick work of some leftover FYH Mozzarella “cheese” and it melted beautifully over the squash puree at 415 degrees after about 26 minute. Red onion, chopped Kalamata olive, pine nuts and slivered fresh basil bring it home to familiar pizza territory.
Many early spring eats are long gone (ramps, I never knew yah in 2010) and fiddleheads are likely turned grown fern frond by now, but if you stumble upon a few grab ‘em and garnish your next pizza with their woodsy mystery.