Forsythia & Fiddleheads at our table: it must be Spring!

by 2gourmaniacs on April 25, 2010


Fresh pasta with sauteed chicken & fiddleheads

The bright yellow forsythia flowers appear later in the spring out on eastern Long Island than elsewhere in western NY. As a result, we get to enjoy their beauty long after it has faded everywhere else. One of the pleasures of bringing our forsythia’s brilliant cuttings indoor is how beautifully it adorns our dinner table. In honor of forsythias’ last blooms, we made an easy spring time dinner of pan sautéed chicken breast over fresh fettuccine pasta, steamed fiddle heads and artichoke hearts. Eat your hearts out! :-)

Ingredients for 2 servings

2 organic chicken breast
1/4 lb steamed fiddle heads
1/4 lb artichoke hearts
2 portions fresh or packaged fettuccine
2 Tbsp panko or Wondra
1 small shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 lemon, squeezed
1 Tbsp butter
splash of white wine
splash of olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh chopped rosemary
fresh grated parmigiano cheese


First, prepare each place setting to include forsythia cuttings in a small vase. Now you’re ready to prep the food. In a steamer, cook fiddle heads until tender, not soft, and bright green; rinse under cold water and set aside (this preserves the color). Drain and quarter artichoke hearts and set aside. In a small saucepan, sauté shallots in oilve oil for a few minutes; add garlic and mix well. Pour in chicken stock, lemon juice, a splash of white wine, salt and pepper, and reduce the sauce over low heat.

Meawnhile, get some salted water to boil for the pasta. Coat chicken breasts with panko or Wondra (or flour) and sauté in a pan in some olive oil until both sides are golden brown; remove pan from heat and cover. Drop the pasta in the boiling water, careful not to let it overcook especially if fresh. Remove from heat when al dente, drain immediately and cover with a lid (reserve a little pasta water).

In another small pan, quickly heat up the fiddle heads and artichoke hearts in a splash of olive oil and remove from heat. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter into the reduction sauce while warming your serving dishes in a microwave for 30-60 seconds. Place a portion of fettuccine in each plate, tossing pasta in reserved hot water first, if necessary. Arrange fiddle heads and artichoke hearts alternatingly around the mound of pasta. Transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board, cut diagonally into slices and place on top of the pasta. Pour the reduced sauce on the pasta, chicken and vegetables. Top with a sprinkle of chopped rosemary, grated parmigiano and a grind of fresh pepper. Serve immediately.

forsythia on mulch

Forsythia blooms on the ground


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