Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fantastic Fern Healthy Salad Recipe

In the cool upland areas of Quezon, such as Lucban, you'll find pako, or fern, growing wild on the mountainside. Only the new sprouts are edible and should therefor be the only ones harvested, but in many local markets, pako is sold along with hard stems to make the purchase seem as though you're getting more value for your money. Because Pako grows wild and thus doesn't contain remnants of pesticide, it's a big hit among organic aficionados. The new sprout is shaped like the end of a violin stem, hence, in English it's called a fiddlehead fern. 

The new sprouts of pako form the main ingredient of a local salad that's tossed with tomatoes, and sometimes, with salted eggs and kesong puti (white carabao milk cheese). You can top this with any dressing, but the Filipino way is to use a vinaigrette mix of vinegar, salt, pepper and a little sugar. 

For a smoky twist, try grilling the kesong puti and sprinkle over tinapa (smoked fish) flakes. Squeeze some dalandan (sweet orange)into the dressing. The tinapang galunggong or smoked blue mackarel scad makes nicer flakes and add subtle flavor into the dish. 


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