Montreal Fiddlehead Brunch with Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns and Fiddlehead with Goat Cheese Omelet

Montreal’s food scene was such a delight! My vegetarian hosts introduced me to fiddlehead ferns, a regional swampy vegetable that aggressively resists large scale farming. They taste a bit like a mix between green beans, celery, and asparagus.

The seasonal fiddleheads were our only special purchase. Everything else was thrown together on the spot from their incredibly well stocked pantry.

We ended up with a lovely brunch of sauteed fiddleheads, a fiddlehead quiche, roasted red carrots (because there was a bag in the fridge that needed to be used up) spinach in a preserved lemon dressing, and home made basil lemonade, plus some vegetarian “pate” on dark brown bread from a bakery up the block.

You’ll find basil in nearly every recipe. My hosts had an amazing window garden with several varieties of basil and fresh arugula. Our other theme ingredient of the day was lemon, whether whole or preserved. Everything I made that morning was vegetarian or vegan, in season, and sweetened from a very Canadian aluminum can of maple syrup everyone in Montreal seems to own.

Click here for the rest of my Montreal Vegetarian Brunch Recipes!

Fresh Fiddleheads are Filthy

Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

  • 1 pound fresh Fiddlehead ferns
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Juice of 1 small lemon

Sauteed Fiddlehead Directions

  • Your fiddleheads will look like they came straight from the swamp. Before you start cooking you need to thoroughly rinse all the dirt and fronds from the middles.
  • Once the fiddleheads are clean, go ahead and pour your your olive oil into a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the fiddleheads and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the garlic cloves, salt, and pepper, and keep cooking for another 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked through but not browned.
  • Finish by adding the basil leaves and lemon juice, then cook for another minute, stirring often.

Vegetarian Fiddlehead and Goat Cheese Omelet

  • 4 tbsp softened butter, divided
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 leaves fresh basil leaves, ripped and bruised
  • 5-7 tbsp goat cheese
  • 5-7 large sauteed fiddleheads

Omelet Directions

  • Whisk together 2 tbsp butter and your eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic until frothy. Mix in the basil leaves.
  • Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Make sure the pan is well coated. Pour in the egg slurry and put a lid on the omelet. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the bottom has started to set but the top is still pretty liquid.
  • Carefully smash each tablespoon of goat cheese into a disc.
  • Take the lid off the omelet and arrange the goat cheese around the edges in a circle, plus one more in the middle. Place a sauteed fiddlhead on top of each wad of goat cheese.
  • Continue cooking, uncovered, until the egg mix has barely set and is no longer wobbly in the middle. Carefully slide the finished omelet onto a plate. Let it cool and set for 5-8 minutes before serving.