Recipe: Fiddleheads Wabanaki

Fiddleheads are in season, so it's the perfect time to try out this tasty traditional dish

Credit: Pamela Bethel, with permission from Arsenal Pulp Press

Shake up your dinner routine with delicious fiddleheads Wabanaki

Fiddleheads Wabanaki is a traditional dish that is sure to wow your tastebuds

First Nations people have been harvesting wild fiddleheads for centuries. Try out this age-old recipe and impress your guests with fresh, in-season fiddleheads.


  • 1/2 lb (250 g) fresh or frozen fiddleheads
  • 1 slice bacon, cut into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • pinch each sea salt and pepper


  1. Wash fiddleheads thoroughly to remove dirt. In large pot of boiling, salted water, blanch fiddleheads for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, refresh under cold water and drain well again. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp; remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Chop into bits.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tsp (10 ml) fat.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and melt butter in fat.
  5. Sauté shallots and garlic until shallots are transparent and soft.
  6. Add fiddleheads and sauté 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve topped with bacon bits.

Serves 2.

Recipe and photo from A Feast For All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples’ Cuisine. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press, ©2010.