Tagliatelle with Fiddlehead Ferns, Asparagus Tips & Morels Topped with Sous Vide Banty Eggs

posted in: Cooking, Savory | 34

 sous vide banty

In honor of a recent visit from a distinguished out-of-town guest, aka my dad, I decided to prepare a veritable locavore’s delight to give him a little taste of what the Seattle surroundings have to offer.  If you’ve read my blog before, surely you know that I can’t resist an esoteric egg.  So tell me then, with what willpower was I supposed to refrain from purchasing Banty hen eggs when they practically begged me to take them home? That’s right, I was meant to buy them; and the amazing green-hued eggs from the Araucana hen that were sitting right next to them, too. I’m dreaming up something funky to do with those too, but for the time being please note the full splendor and beauty of the beholden Banty egg.

banty

The size is quite nice, actually, smaller than a typical chicken egg, but larger than a quail egg.  I figured dolloping two atop each portion of pasta would just about do it, though two normal chicken eggs would have been too much. One duck egg might have done the trick, but damn, these Banty eggs are just so fresh and good I’m happy I used them.  I put the eggs in shell in a sous vide bath for one hour at 144° and they came out with the white just hardened enough to keep the yolk from spilling all over everything, but just runny enough to make a perfect custardy-carbonara-esque sauce for the handcut tagliatelle. 

le paste

On to the next ingredient du jour: fiddlehead ferns.  If I was a true locavore worth my SEA id I would have foraged these babies myself; in fact Jonas and I headed out to the yard where we typically have them growing this time of year, but sadly they were too mature. 

fiddlehead

Spring came early in the Pacific Northwest, though it seems to be persisting indefinitely.  What that translates to in terms of flora and fauna is that things are blooming and hatching ahead of schedule.  Someone somewhere found some fiddleheads, though, as I was able to source them at the Pike Place Market along with some meaty morels.  I threw in some asparagus tips since I plan to make a puree of the stalks soon, and called it a good blend to top my tagliatelle. 

tagliatelle

While I was rolling out the pasta dough I boiled the fiddleheads and asparagus for five minutes, then shocked in cold water to stop the cooking.  Once the pasta was rolled, cut, rested and ready, I boiled the noodles. Meanwhile I sautéed some green garlic in a nonstick frying pan and added the asparagus and fiddleheads.  I added ¼ c white wine and tossed in halved morels toward the end.  I seasoned simply with salt and pepper, preferring to let the flavors of the ingredients take the center stage to spices.  To assemble the dish I tossed the noodles into the morel mixture, plated it with a generous shaving of Parmigiano Reggiano, and topped each portion with two banty eggs that I gently coaxed out of their shells so as not to break the white.  Both native and non-native Seattleites will lust after the creamy woodsy nutty flavors in this dish. The added bonus: if eggs aren’t on the taboo list it’s totally vegetarian too.

custard

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34 Responses

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  10. Note the color of that egg yolk – those are chickens that are eating what chickens do naturally, as in bugs, grass, everything. My mother keeps a little flock and in the summer the yolks from their eggs are a deep orange. In the winter they are a paler yellow, though still not as pale as eggs from a store.

  11. I adore fiddleheads and wish I knew how to get them here. I never seem to find them.Beautiful post!

  12. That looks delish! Did you get the eggs at pike street too?
    Andrea

  13. @KittyCat
    I love the different spin on ferns- that would be interesting if they were in fact the same species. I’d love to see a photo if you find yourself cooking with them in the future. cheers!

  14. @chandani
    Fiddleheads grow wild in many parts of the country and can be foraged during the months of April and May. I know Frank’s produce in Pike Place Market in Seattle carries them, so perhaps other farmer’s markets would have them as well.

  15. Interesting post esp as we have a variety of ferns over here in Borneo, which are similar to fiddleheads there in Seattle. I wonder if they are?

    We usually stir-fry them with a bit of wine or dried shrimp. Never tried them with pasta before! Definitely worth a try :)

  16. That is a perfect photo. where do you buy fiddleheads. I don’t see it around here in farmer’s market or grocery stores.

  17. Fab recipe and pictures. Anything with morels is okay by me, but add fiddleheads and asparagus??!! Wow.

  18. This looks amazing. Just one question, what do fiddleheads taste like? This is the 2nd time I’ve seen them, the first was on TV and I’m totally intrigued by their little curly heads!

  19. You’re making me want to move to Seattle. Cannot find fiddleheads. Cannot find anything but chicken eggs. Do have morels…. Would you like to come here and cook?

  20. Linda

    You never cease to amaze me with your creativity — this dish looks absolutely captivating. I have never tried any of the ingredients in this dish — fiddlehead ferns, asparagus tips, morels, banty eggs!!!! If only you lived next door…

  21. Wow, I’m impressed. I’ve never tried fiddlehead ferns or hen eggs but now you’ve convinced me I should!

  22. Hi Linda, I’m new to your blog, from Tastespotting. This dish looks wonderful! What a lovely twist to use a sous-vide egg to make a sauce.

  23. I love fiddleheads — so very Pac NW, no? And a sign of springtime joy, to be sure. Great combination of greens and a fresh, beautiful egg! Your pastamaking never ceases to inspire me, as I know it’s a rolling pin and the Gun Show, since you don’t have a pasta roller. Gangstah!

  24. ok, this sounds CRAZY good. i’ve never had fiddlehead ferns, but they’ve GOT to taste amazing! what a fabulous dish!

  25. Cathy

    The photo of the fern tips and the asparagus tips is BEAUTIFUL!! Like, frame it and hang it on the wall BEAUTIFUL! If it tastes anything like it looks WOW! Your creative use of ingredients many of us have never ventured to try is impressive. Keep it up… Cath

  26. This looks like the epitome of spring. The runny egg just ties it all together and makes it all that more luxurious, too.

  27. Linda

    @claire
    the fronds are delicious and in high season right now so ideal to taste. would love to know what you think when you try some.

  28. Linda

    @megan
    sexy spring ingredients- I like that!

  29. I love what you did with the sous vide eggs, yet another use I would never have thought of and a nice way to combine sexy spring ingredients.

  30. Oooh, I want this. I made a similar dish last night with pasta (not hand-cut, though, silly me), morels I foraged myself, asparagus tips, and a simple white wine sauce, but your egg addition looks genius. I’ve never seen banty eggs but now I must find them.

  31. What a beautiful pasta dish! Perfect for this time of year while asparagus is still available.

  32. I love this post. Fabulous photos. I never knew you could eat fern fronds.They are the most beautiful food I’ve ever seen, and those eggs! We used to keep bantys but I’ve never seen them cooked like this. Just lovely. We must get making pasta again. (Seen on Foodgawker)

  33. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Fish, Linda M Nicholson. Linda M Nicholson said: Tagliatelle with Fiddlehead Ferns, Asparagus Tips & Morels Topped with Sous Vide Banty Eggs http://bit.ly/d543PV [...]

  34. Gorgeous! A pretty amazing dish and flavours.

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