Sidney Street Cafe’s Smoked Pacific Sturgeon, Butternut Squash, Nettles and Fiddlehead Ferns

Sidney Street Cafe’s Smoked Pacific Sturgeon, Butternut Squash, Nettles and Fiddlehead Ferns
sidney street cafe's smoked pacific sturgeon photo by greg rannells


2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp. ice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. cream
Kosher salt
2 oz. porchetta di testa or favorite cured meat,
thinly sliced
½ cup julienned red onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 lb. nettles, cleaned and stemmed
½ cup white wine
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. Crystal hot sauce
1 lb. fiddlehead ferns, washed
2 Tbsp. each thyme, tarragon and chervil, roughly chopped
½ cup crème fraîche
4 to 6 6-oz. pieces cold-smoked sturgeon 

For the cold-smoked sturgeon
1 lb. kosher salt
1 lb. brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange, lemon and lime
1 Tbsp. five spice
1 Tbsp. chopped Chimayo chile
2 Tbsp. thyme
4 to 6 6-oz. pieces sturgeon


• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

• Place the squash in a shallow pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

• Roast the squash for 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly, then scrape the pulp into a blender or food processor.

• Add the olive oil, butter, vinegar and cream and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and reserve.

• In a rondeau, slowly sauté the porchetta di testa. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft.

• Add the nettles, then deglaze the pan with the white wine.

• Stir in the honey and hot sauce and season to taste with salt. Reserve.

• Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the fiddlehead ferns, then remove them from the water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

• Combine the thyme, tarragon, chervil and crème fraîche and reserve.

• Sauté the sturgeon and reheat the other components, except the crème fraîche.

• To serve, place a small portion of the squash purée on the plate, then add the nettles mixture and the ferns. Top with the sturgeon and garnish with the crème fraîche.

For the cold-smoked sturgeon
• Combine all ingredients except the sturgeon.

• Coat the sturgeon with the cure mix and

refrigerate for 1 hour. Rinse and then air-dry

in the refrigerator.

• Cold-smoke the sturgeon for 1½ hours.