Roasted Mediterranean Cauliflower (Inspired by True Food Kitchen)
If you’re new to plant-based eating and looking for a restaurant that has great options, True Food Kitchen is a great choice if you’re lucky enough to have one close by. Their concept is simple: “A health-driven, seasonal restaurant merging nutrient-rich ingredients with a flavor-forward menu that rotates regularly to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness”.
It was established partly by Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer and leader of Integrative Medicine, a field which attempts to improve health naturally with a focus on “body, mind, and spirit.” The food at True Food Kitchen is based on a “set of simple and exhaustively researched principles known as the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. This diet—not so much a “diet” in the ever-trendy weight loss variety—encourages simple changes in eating habits to avoid and counteract chronic inflammation: a root cause of heart disease, many cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and more. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime”.
I’ve been to True Food Kitchen on many occasions, and have tried just about every plant-based item on their menu. It took about five or six visits before I finally ordered the harissa tahini charred cauliflower appetizer. Wow, had I been missing out! This dish was a perfect combination of creamy, nutty, spicy, and crunchy, and was sprinkled with just enough herbs to bring out the freshness from the garden.
After a recent visit there, my wife and I were craving more, so she searched for and found a great mock-up recipe. One of the best things about this dish is that it’s pretty simple to prepare. I’d recommend making double or triple the recipe because trust me, you’ll be wanting more!!
If you’re not familiar with harissa, it’s a popular spice in North Africa which contains a blend of hot chile peppers (which are often smoked), garlic, and other spices like cumin, coriander, caraway. I love sprinkling it on just about every savory dish, and use it frequently to top hummus and avocado toast. Tahini is a nutty paste or sauce made from toasted ground sesame seeds. For this recipe, you’ll want to find a brand with a more sauce-like consistency. I recently learned that Trader Joe’s brand is excellent and used this in my hummus recipe.