Cheese Grits with Fiddleheads and Ramps in Brown Butter

By on April 11, 2020

This bowl of grits is topped with two favorite seasonal ingredients: fiddlehead ferns and ramps. Keep the dish fairly rustic to create a comforting dinner for a rainy spring night.


• 1 cup quick cooking grits
• 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 4 sprigs of thyme
• 1/2 lb fiddleheads, rinsed
• 1 large bunch of ramps, rinsed
• 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
• Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


1. Follow the directions on the packaging for cooking the grits. Once they are done, stir in the shredded cheese and 3 tablespoons of butter lemon zest, and the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Season with a little salt and pepper

2. Place the fiddleheads in a large microwave-safe bowl and add in an inch of water.  Cover and cook in the microwave at high heat for 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave and drain water.

3. Set a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the remaining butter to the pan and let it melt, whisking frequently. Once it starts to foam, add in the ramp bulbs (not the greens) and cook in the butter for a minute or two. The butter will begin to brown and the ramps will get some color on them. Add the fiddleheads and ramp greens and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  

4. Transfer the grits to plates or bowls and top with fiddleheads and ramps. Be sure to get as much of the butter on top of the dish.

Credit: Brian Samuels