Fiddlehead Garlic Scape Pesto

Recipe from Meredith Knowles

Vermont fiddleheads are the edible curly tips of the Ostrich fern. They actually get their name from their unique look—the curled top look like the handle of a fiddle! 

Prep Time

5 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes


6 Servings


1 cup fiddleheads
1⁄2 cup garlic scapes
1⁄2 cup basil, fresh
1⁄4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup cheese, parmesan


Clean the fiddleheads of any brown papery covering. Boil them for 15 minutes. Strain the fiddleheads and put them in a food processor. Add the garlic scapes and basil and blend them together. Then add the pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan, pulsing the food processor until a paste forms.

To make the recipe vegan, you can substitute crushed walnuts or cashews for the cheese.

Add to pasta or use fresh on toasted pita. This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days.