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Lemon Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus

Lemon Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus
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The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

Fiddlehead ferns are considered a springtime delicacy because of their ultra-short growing season. Harvested before emerging into a full-fledged fern frond, these whimsical little foraged vegetables are typically only available for a couple weeks in April or May. Luckily, you can find them right now in Heinen’s Produce Department for a limited time!

Lemon Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus

Fiddleheads taste like the best of fresh spring produce! I liken them to a cross between asparagus and green beans. They should never be consumed raw and taste best sautéed, roasted, steamed or pickled. There are numerous other ways to prepare them, but I recommend keeping things simple so you can really savor their unique flavor.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler to throw together. I’m jazzing up Heinen’s frozen creamy risotto with sautéed fiddleheads and fresh spring asparagus, then finishing it off with fresh lemon and parmesan. It’s the perfect seasonal vegetarian main dish or side.

Lemon Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus

Lemon Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus


  • 1 heaping cup fiddlehead ferns (about 4 oz.)
  • ½ Tbsp. Heinen’s olive oil
  • ½ Tbsp. Heinen’s unsalted butter
  • 6-8 asparagus stalks, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 package Heinen’s frozen creamy risotto
  • Lemon
  • Heinen’s grated 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Rinse the fiddlehead ferns under cold running water until the water runs clear. Trim off any brown or dry ends.
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil and add 1 Tbsp. of kosher salt. Add the fiddlehead ferns and blanch for 3-5 minutes. Drain well but do not rinse.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the fiddlehead ferns and asparagus and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the risotto according to package directions, then stir it into the vegetables and squeeze in fresh lemon juice to taste.
  5. Serve immediately topped with the grated parmesan cheese.

Lemon Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus

Carolyn Hodges

By Carolyn Hodges

Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

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