In a large pot bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and fiddleheads. Cook 1 minute.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add fiddleheads. Cook, stirring, until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes, if you like, and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and just starting to color,