Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pako Fern Salad

Pako ferns (or fiddleheads) are back in season.    We usually find these when the rainy season starts.  They're best eaten the same day that they're purchased as they deteriorate rather quickly.

I don't know any other way to serve this except as a salad and we used to eat them raw.  But I've since been told (by the market vendor, no less) that the pako ferns, while edible, should be blanched, as they have some form of mild poison.  Since then I've blanched them briefly in boiling water for a few seconds and then immediately put them in an ice bath.  Afterwards I spin them in a salad spinner to remove excess water.

The recipe:

2 to 3 bundles of pako fern, blanched and chilled
2 large tomatoes, sliced into slivers (seeds removed)
1 large red (Spanish) onion, sliced thinly
2 red (salted) eggs, chopped coarsely
kesong puti, crumbled (or feta)

Toss all ingredients, except the kesong puti, together, . Chill in the meantime.

Meanwhile make the "vinaigrette".  Place the ingredients in a shaker and shake shake shake!

1/4 cup native vinegar
juice from 1 calamansi
1 tbsp. olive oil (optional)
1-2 tbsp. crushed mixed peppercorns
2-3 pinches of Himalayan pink salt

Toss with the salad, top with grated kesong puti and serve!

Other ingredient suggestions include cucumber, slivered green mangoes, and/or garlic chips.

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