Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Inspiration: Outerlands (San Francisco, CA)

Good Sign

Have you ever tasted sunflower buds? Because it turns out, you can eat them. I thought that sunflowers only produced munchy seeds and creamy roots, but low and behold, the budding flower is edible, too. Not just edible – delicious. And not in that sprinkle-the-petals-on-your-salad kind of way. In fact, they don’t taste like flowers at all. You eat the whole bud, and they taste a bit like sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes), just a little more earthy and texturally unique. At Outerlands, they roast them in butter and top them with pistachios. My taste buds tell me there might have been a little lemon in there, too.

Outerlands is a homey, wood paneled restaurant in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco – the kind of place that feels both intimate and community-friendly at the same time. Tim and I indulged there on our recent babymoon, a weekend of eating, sleeping, and ocean-gazing before our lives change forever.

We went to Outerlands for both a lunch and a dinner, so if these sunflower buds don’t peak your curiosity enough, we’ve got plenty of other highlights to tempt you to visit:

  • An Early Girl tomato salad paired with strawberries, padron peppers, pine nuts, and the perfect ratio of oil, vinegar, and salt.
  • They season the toasted bread crumbs on their burrata and tomato salad with coriander, oregano, and espelette, a pepper popular to Basque cuisine.
  • Their animal protein, whether from land or sea, is cooked to perfection.

So what did Outerlands inspire me to do in my own kitchen? I’d say to prepare sunflower buds, if only I knew where to get them. Until I discover this rare edible in a nearby market, I’m inspired to bring those creamy sunflower roots – sunchokes – back into my kitchen. I’m thinking roasted sunchokes with a pistachio-mint gremolata, but I guess you’ll have to wait and see. –jaime

Good Burrata

Good salad

Good inside

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This entry was posted on October 17, 2013 by in M & D Inspiration, Restaurant, SF/Bay Area (Jaime's Home).

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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