Fiddleheads Tempura with Aoli

Spring came earlier than usual this year. Fiddleheads usually appear in May, but this year they are plentiful in April—even as far north as Elmore, Vermont. The scroll-like Ostrich Fern fiddleheads are easily identified by the brown skin that clings loosely to the emerging shoots. If you pick your own, harvest only 3 per plant to prevent decimating the fern population. Fiddleheads are readily available in markets during their brief season. They have a delicate flavor sometimes described as similar to asparagus or okra, or simply as spring greens. Continue reading

Cheddar Popovers

A basket of warm popovers with dinner is a real treat, but who wouldn’t be happy to see them at any meal. Sharp cheddar cheese caramelizes in the crust to give these popovers a special flavor and rich color. Serve these with sweet butter alongside stews, soups, roasts, with breakfast, on a buffet, or all by themselves. It only takes a few minutes to mix the few ingredients. This is an inexpensive means to an exquisite end result. Continue reading

Orange Almond Cake with Orange-Ginger Glaze

Gluten free! Who needs flour when you can make such a moist, well-flavored cake without it. This cake comes from Jewish cuisine of the Mediterranean regions where oranges and almonds are important crops. Navel oranges are a good choice because they have few seeds, and the peel is not bitter. Boiling the oranges softens them, and changing the water part way through the boiling will ensure a fresh orange flavor. Continue reading