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Dandelions look pretty and taste even better

Baked dandelions and red wine
fashion over 40 woman in bomber and chinos
Posing in front of an Alaska rhubarb in Oliveo Chinos, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, statement belt, hand painted silk scarf, Jord green wooden watch, Coach bag (all own), T-shirt c/o Onno, and aviator bomber c/o Shein

Fresh greens, vegetables and fruits are seasonal only

Fresh vegetables, fruits, roots, and leaves are hard to get your hands on in Alaska except for July to early September at the Farmers Market. Lettuce doesn’t grow well in the Interior. Zucchinis do well when you are lucky that there is no frost in early June. Potatoes do well, as does cabbage, rhubarb (see photo above) and raspberries.

Alaska raspberries
Alaska wild raspberries are much smaller than the mid latitude variety and they taste less sweet and are a bit sour

Recycling of lettuce and alike

The rest of the year, any vegetables, fruits, roots, and leaves are flown in. This means they are expensive. In the middle of winter, a head of butter lettuce costs $2.50. Each day the lettuce gets smaller and smaller as stores remove the outer meanwhile not so nice leaves until the entire lettuce has reached its permanent wilting point or has become so small that there is no chance to sell it anymore. Probably, it then ends up on the store’s salad bar. 😉

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Side view of Casual Friday work outfit with Oliveo Chinos, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, statement belt, hand painted scarf, Coach bag (all own), and aviator bomber c/o Shein

Alaska’s meat and fish diet

What you can eat in abundance in Alaska is meat and fish. There are buffalo and reindeer herds near Delta. Many Alaskans hunt and have moose or caribou. However, only Alaskan Natives are allowed to sell caribou and moose meat. Thus, you can’t buy it, but you can exchange it for other food. Many Alaskans fish halibut or catch salmon. Collected morsels, cranberries, and blueberries have also a nice trading value. Sometimes quilts or home-made clothes work too.

mature style woman in casual work outfit
Back view of casual work outfit with Oliveo Chinos, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, hand painted scarf, Jord green wood watch, Coach bag (all own), and aviator bomber c/o Shein

Alaska’s overlooked food source

In my opinion, there is another – often overlooked – food, weeds that you can eat. Of course, they have no value to trade them in for one of the other Alaska food resources. Everybody has them in abundance in their own yard. Full disclosure, there are more dandelion and other edible weeds in our yard than we can eat. 😉

How to prepare them

Pick a basket full of dandelion leaves. Make sure you don’t have any blossoms in it! Wash the leaves and make sure to take out all grass and other non-edible plant pieces. Cut the dandelions and other edible weeds into half inch stripes. In an oven-safe bowl, combine a cup of low fat (2%) milk, a cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, pepper to taste, and 2 table spoons of dried crushed basil. Stir to blend the eggs with the milk. Mix the cut leaves into the mixture until all leaves are equally covered with the egg-milk-herb-cheese-pepper mixture. Note it is easier when you add a handful at a time. Then cover the mixture with some additional Parmesan cheese. Put the dish into the pre-heated oven at 395F (~200oC) and bake for 45 (flat large dish) to 60 minutes (small high dishes like the one in the photos). Energy saving tip: Bake a bread at the same time.
Alaska baked dandelion recipe
This recipe will serve four people as a side or two people when served as the main with some home made bread. Red wine is a great pairing.

Enjoy.

advanced style woman in casual look
Walking in front of an Alaska rhubarb in Oliveo Chinos, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, statement belt, hand painted scarf, Jord sandalwood watch, striped Coach bag (all own), T-shirt c/o Onno, and aviator bomber c/o Shein

Note that when you can’t get your hands on dandelion leaves, the recipe also works with spinach. However, it will miss the slightly bitter taste that you get with dandelions.

Another tip: Dandelions also taste great as a salad with two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pepper and salt to taste blended as a dressing.

What is a regional dish from your area? Let me know by email I love to hear from you.

Interested in another of my recipes or what grows in Alaska’s yards? Click the links to read more.

Focus Alaska is a weekly series on Alaska lifestyle, events, curiousa, insider travel tips, Alaska shopping and street style.

Photos of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: N. Mölders

Copyright 2013-2017 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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