Fiddlehead Fern and Black Lentil Salad

with Violet Flowers

  • Prep Time:
    15 mins

  • Cook Time:
    30 mins

  • Difficulty:

  • Serves:

Botanical Benefits*: protein-packed, anti-oxidant rich, high in fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, digestive*

Diet Style: Plant-based, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, clean, wholesome, Mediterranean.


Wild edible fiddlehead ferns and violet flowers capture and celebrate the essence of spring.



  • 1 cup black lentils – rinsed

  • 3 kaffir lime leaves

  • 2 cups fiddlehead ferns – wash in a bowl water to clean, and then rinse

  • 1 small fennel bulb, outer layer removed and discarded

  • 1/2 cup fennel fronds – remove from stem and set aside

  • 1 cup raw snap peas – optional, washed and tough center strings removed

  • 1 small shallot – peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • ½ cup chives medium sliced

  • Juice of 1 orange

  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil

  • Salt and pepper


Lentils.  In a saucepan with 4 cups of water add lentils and lime leaves and simmer 25 mins or until desired tenderness. Rinse.

Fiddleheads.  Wash in bowl, rinse and then trim any brown ends. Either boil or steam for up to 7 mins until cooked through – it is important to cook fiddleheads.

Fennel. Cut in half and shave thin slices going crosswise on a mandolin.   Stop when you reach the core at the bottom of the bulb as it can be tough.

Peas, if using, slice pods thinly across or on the bias and set aside.

Mix.   In a salad bowl add fennel, orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, thinly sliced shallot, warm fiddleheads and lentils and mix all together.  Add chives and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve as a side or the star garnished with fennel fronds, chive flowers and sliced snap peas

Botanical boosts & substitute: Add flavor and nutrients to the water the lentils are cooked in, such as nettles, seaweed, astragulus, bay leaf even outer layer of fennel bulb or stalks.




Recipe Karina Hines.