I am blessed to be a daughter who sheds a tear every time she parts from her parents. Mom and dad left Maine last week and my heart swelled with gratefulness for our time together and sadness for their departure.
While they were here, we toured a lighthouse, ate the best oysters and the most delectable poutine in the wide world, enjoyed sour cherry pie (a la mode, of course), watched the best movie, and visited LL Bean (duh). The best part: for the first time in years, I spent Mother’s Day with my mom. As all of us cooks know and (likely) show our love, I bestowed the gift of food on Mother’s Day. Luckily, food’s one of the ways to my mom’s heart. I got it honest.
Our brunch menu looked a little something like this:
- Trader Joe’s Peach Bellini (if you haven’t tried it, run to your nearest TJ’s and buy a case. Or two. It’s seasonal and it usually goes fast, so run, friend! Run!)
- Fruit Salad with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries
- D’Ameri Acres Thick-Sliced Bacon
- Whole Wheat (with all the nuts and seeds) Toast with Raspberry-Peach Champagne Jam
- Fiddlehead and Goat Cheese Quiche
Fiddleheads, which my dearest dad endearingly referred to as Fiddle Faddles (such a dad joke, amiright?!), are in season. WOOO! My folks were a little hesitant to try them after I explained what they were, but being the adventurous souls they are, they agreed to give them a shot. Tasting somewhere between an asparagus and a mushroom, the newly sprouted, unfurled curls of the Ostrich Fern (a.k.a. fiddleheads) are foraged along fresh water woodland streams. They’re in season a short period of time, and the tables at the farmers’ market are usually picked-clean in an hour or two.
You can’t eat them raw because they can make you sick . I assured my parents: I’d cook them properly and if they didn’t like the fiddlehead quiche, I’d make them scrambled eggs. Because we have eggs coming out of our ears, thanks to Ginger, Marjoram, and our newly adopted hens, Bay and Laurel.
Tart goat cheese
Flaky, buttery crust
A kick from red pepper flakes
Simple. Elegant. A little weird. That’s my favorite kind of food.
The Recipe: Fiddlehead Goat Cheese Quiche
- 1 pie crust
- 2 cups of fiddleheads (see note above)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 8 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- To prepare the fiddleheads, trim the bottom stalks from the shoot. Once well-trimmed, rinse well, doing the best you can to rid them of the brown papery skins. Bring 6 cups of water and a healthy pinch of salt to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add fiddleheads and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain fiddleheads in a colander and run under cold water to halt cooking. Note: it’s okay if the water you drain is a little brown. I’ve read it’s leeched iron.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fit the pie crust in a 10 inch pie plate. Trim any overhanging dough and crimp the edge if you're feeling fancy. Note: if using a homemade pie crust, consider adding pie weights and baking for 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is firm and lightly browned. This will make for a crispier quiche crust. If using store-bought, this step isn't necessary.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Add the milk, cream, and salt. Whisk until everything is well-combined.
- Spread fiddleheads along the bottom of the pie crust. Evenly sprinkle minced garlic over fiddleheads. Crumble goat cheese over the fiddleheads and garlic. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the goat cheese.
- Pour the egg and milk mixtures over the fiddleheads and goat cheese.
- Bake until the center of the quiche has set and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Cut into 8 wedges and serve.