Appetizers » Braised Sunflowers w/ Herbed Ricotta
Crispy, tender sunflowers are filled with herbed ricotta and drizzled with an Anchovy, Caper & Raisin Vinaigrette. Chef Charles Draghi of Erbaluce teaches us that the flavor of sunflowers is similar to artichokes but with a layer of nuttiness. Absolutely delicious and a gorgeous presentation.
Posted Saturday, September 3, 2011, at 9:27 pm by Eric W:Report from the field... We had a wonderful meal at Erbaluce in late July, 2011, including a sunflower appetizer that everyone loved. So we were excited to see this online. I believe it's a different dish than what we had, but here's how it went: I wish Chef Draghi had spent more time on preparation--it's not as simple as it seems from the recipe or video! For starters, there are sunflowers with both green and black centers. I don't think this matters, but I'm not sure. Most importantly, they exude a sticky sap that is very hard to clean. We finally resorted to paint thinner to dissolve this stuff! Really quite a mess. The other critical point is that you must slice off ALL of the "face" that contains the seeds and sap. This was not clear to us and we ended up with some that had an unpleasant piney, resinous taste. So, in the end, the sunflower disc is only about 1/4 to 3/8" thick. Our thinnest pieces were fine. The rest of the recipe was easy and tasty. We ended up using leftover vinaigrette sauce on some grilled salmon which was also good. Sorry no photos, but they looked exactly like the pros... <lol>
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