Food and Drink

How Alaska Eats: Beet love, fair food secrets and blueberry fields forever

  • Author: Julia O'Malley
  • Updated: August 31, 2018
  • Published August 31, 2018
You could eat this wild blueberry pie in another state, but it wouldn’t taste the same. (My recipe sets up beautifully, but we couldn’t wait …) (Photo by: Julia O’Malley/ADN)

Newsletter #11: Blueberry fields forever

I'm back from an epic adventure in Italy where I spent a couple of weeks documenting how my family eats (link at bottom if you're interested). Many thanks to Maya Wilson for filling in.

You know what's nice? Tucking back into Alaska this time of year, when the coho are running and the blueberries are ripe. I got to thinking about those berries you get if you go picking in the mountains. What must a plant draw from the soil to make that inky purple-blue? It has to be medicinal. (Especially when it comes in pie form.)

Confession: until now, I didn't have a solid blueberry pie recipe, which is why I'm pretty proud of this week's Alaskana recipe. It's simple, delicious and pretty hard to mess up. (There is also a link for a gluten-free version.) Thanks to the test kitchen cooks who advised.

Arctic Valley blueberries in 2018. (Photo courtesy: Sara Boario)

Speaking of beautifully colored plants, we're in prime beet season, says our market columnist Steve Edwards, (also a good time to buy coho, halibut for the freezer and snag some squash blossoms).

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If you pick up some beets, Maya Wilson has a gorgeous roasted beet and lentil salad with tahini dressing you might want to make on a weeknight next week.

I'm planning to head up to the state fair today, where I will be giving my young children an education in giant vegetables. (See record pumpkin here.) Before I go, I will also consult Mara Severin's fine fair food guide. (You didn't ask, but deep-fried peanut potatoes will be my favorite fair food forever. That bacon dip, though! Seriously.)

[Find more recipes and food news in the ADN Food and Drink section]

You're always welcome to test recipes with me. Join my test kitchen Facebook group! We're getting into some Spam recipes. And, if you'd like to see some Italy, go here. As always, we'd love to hear your feedback, Alaska food ideas and questions!

Here's hoping you get yourself a giant turkey leg and it doesn't rain all that much. Thanks for reading.