Fiddleheads are, in fact, a spring delicacy I was introduced to by my favorite Canadian. I had never even conceived of eating bits of spring ferns. And now, I look forward to them every year. Yes, you can get them in Wegmans sometimes; but really, the best ones are from the outdoor market in Ottawa. They look like little curled fern bits -- and they taste like -- fiddleheads. (Thanks to this site for the picture, above. THe site also explains exactly why you must not eat these raw or undercooked.) If forced to compare, perhaps a bit of asparagus and a bit of greenery, and, well, spring.
These are best boiled -- or sometimes boiled and then sauteed. Some sites say you must cook them for a minimum of 12 minutes (Due to a peculiar chemical in them which is poisonous if they are eaten raw or undercooked). But the lovely quebecois man from whom I most recently purchased them said 3 minutes of boiling and 3 minutes of sauteeing. From his point of view, I likely overcooked them. from mine, better safe then sorry.
So: Here are two recipes and a few links to others I have not tried.
Wash the darn things and trim a tiny bit off the ends (I do not know why I do the latter, but the former is because they need it. Wash them a lot, or soak them in cold water.)
Boil for about 12 minutes (or 8).
Add a big bit of butter til it melts.
Buy some fiddlheads and ramps. Yep, they are sometimes in season at the same time.
Boil your fiddlheads for 3-5 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the ends of your ramps and then chop finely. (I just used white ends).
Saute ramps in loads of butter.
Add fiddleheads and sauteed for a few more minutes. MAKE SURE THEY ARE DONE.