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Eat the meadow: You have to try these alpine plants!

Someone once said: We humans are basically nothing more than plants with a complicated soul. Because we don't need much more than light, fresh air, clear water, a few nutrients from time to time and a little affection. We don't want life to be quite so ascetic, the delicacies we serve you at Zallinger are simply too tempting for that. We'll just say: Kaiserschmarren. Bacon dumplings. Schlutzer. Salad with buck's beard, dandelion and thunderflower.  Ha! Now we've thrown you off your game a little, haven't we? Did you know that a surprising amount of the green stuff that grows on the Alpe di Siusi is not just for the hare, cow calf and Haflinger horse? There is also plenty of green power food for us humans on such an alpine pasture. With this in mind, we shout loudly and enthusiastically today: Eat the meadow!


The goatsbeard (Tragopogon pratensis)

From far away, you might mistake it for a dandelion (which we'll talk about below). But when you get closer, you'll immediately realise that this is something completely different, even though both plants belong to the composite family. There are many different types and varieties of buckbeard; on the Seiser Alm you will mainly find meadow buckbeard. All parts of the plant are edible. You can use the shoot of a young goat's beard as an alternative to asparagus; its root makes a good substitute for black salsify. But the best flavour comes from the young leaves, which you can eat raw as a salad or blanched as a leafy vegetable. A woman recently told us that the goat's beard is called "yemlik" in her home country of Turkey and is particularly popular in spring. Usually raw with salt and oil. We have to try it!


The yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

It is beautiful. It is healthy. And it is a powerful all-purpose weapon for herbal witches. And has been for centuries! It is beyond the scope of this article to list the many uses of this super plant. But just this much: it can even be found in Greek mythology (take a look at the Latin name), and in some places it is also known as the "eyebrow of Venus". Here on the Seiser Alm, yarrow is used as a base for lemonade and liqueur, and its young leaves add a special flavour to any salad. Incredibly tasty: dip yarrow leaves in savoury batter and fry in hot oil.


The dandelion (Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia)

Yes, yes, yes and yes, the flower head, stem, leaves and even the root of the dandelion are all edible. Provided you don't pick an old, huge specimen directly from the side of a busy motorway. But if you find a young dandelion in the middle of a meadow: Meal time! Perhaps we can inspire you to make a vegetable dish with dandelion roots, a pasta with dandelion leaf paste or a fruit salad with dandelion flowers?


The red clover (Trifolium pratense)

We would now like to praise the red clover above the green clover. It grows in every meadow. And if you have a sweet tooth, sit down in the green and grab it! The pink flower heads of red clover taste surprisingly sweet. Also delicious: a red clover risotto with lots of Parmesan cheese or a plate of pasta with red clover pesto made from olive oil, red clover flowers and sunflower seeds. Enjoy your meal!



And here's a recipe from our herb witch Barbara:

  • 4 handfuls of zigori (young rosettes of dandelion leaves)
  • 100 g pancetta
  • A little vinegar
  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • A little oil, salt and pepper

Clean, wash and cut the zigori into strips, lightly fry the bacon and deglaze with vinegar. Add everything to the zigori together with the fat. Cut the potato into small pieces and add to the zigori. Season with salt. Pepper and oil to taste.

As we say: Eat the meadow and enjoy your meal!

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