I am so excited to share this copycat recipe with you! This cauliflower recipe is based on an appetizer from the restaurant True Food, and it's basically roasted cauliflower dressed up with a maple tahini sauce, chopped dates, and fresh dill. DO NOT knock it until you try it. The variety of flavors and textures in this 30 minute Copycat True Food Charred Cauliflower just works! It's also gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and vegan for all my people with dietary restrictions and/or food allergies.
The Inspiration Behind This Copycat Recipe
Have you ever eaten at True Food? Lucas and I discovered it a few years back when we were living in Atlanta, GA. We’ve been in Nashville, TN for the past year and a half, and thankfully there’s a location here too! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most things I’ve tried from True Food, but buy can it can get EXPENSIVE! Hence the need to create this copycat version of my favorite True Food appetizer, the Charred Cauliflower.
For those of you who haven't tried the Charred Cauliflower appetizer from True Food, it's made with cauliflower, dates, tahini, fresh dill, and pistachios. It may seem like a pretty weird combination of ingredients at first glance, but it tastes amazing! It's also full of beneficial nutrients like fiber, folate, vitamin C, heart healthy fats, and plant based protein.
I had to try my hand at a copycat recipe, and I have to say this Copycat True Food Charred Cauliflower is pretty dang close to the original. The main difference between the original and my copycat version is that I omitted the pistachios to keep this recipe nut free. But you could totally add pistachios if you want to.
If you're not sure about all the ingredients in this cauliflower recipe, ease yourself in with my Spicy Roasted Cauliflower!
When it comes to ways to serve this Copycat True Food Charred Cauliflower, you can go a few ways. You can serve it as an appetizer for basically any meal, serve it as a side dish, or serve it as a stand alone dish.
Embrace the tanginess of the dill in this cauliflower recipe by pairing it with this Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill or these vegetarian Green Pea Zucchini Fritters with Creamy Dill Sauce.
Sweeter entrees like a honey glazed chicken breast or pork tenderloin with apples and sides like roasted sweet potatoes and these Sweet and Spicy Roasted Brussel Sprouts would also pair nicely with this cauliflower recipe.
You also can't go wrong with my Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Tenders.
If you're wanting to serve this cauliflower recipe as an entree, add some nuts or seeds for more protein and to make it more filling. Pistachios, roasted cashews, sunflower seeds, or pepitas are all great topping choices to make this dish a meal.
Step By Step Instructions
If you follow these step by step instructions, this Copycat True Food Charred Cauliflower should take no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.
Step 1: Roast the cauliflower. Preheat your oven to 400oF, then move on to prepare your head of cauliflower. Wash and chop the head of cauliflower into florets. If you're not sure how to do this, this article has a great step nay step on how to cut a head of cauliflower into florets. Otherwise, you can use 4 cups of pre-chopped cauliflower florets. To ensure the cauliflower is evenly coated, DO NOT combine the cauliflower florets, oil, and spices on the baking sheet. Instead, toss all of these ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then transfer the coated cauliflower to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20 minutes until slightly tender.
Step 2: Make the tahini sauce. Rather than making the sauce before you prepare the cauliflower, make the sauce while the cauliflower cooks to save time. You'll need tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, water, and a small glass jar with a lid. Add everything but the water to the mason jar. Now shake shake shake! Add some water to thin out the sauce so you can easily drizzle it over the cauliflower.
Step 3: Prep the dates and fresh dill. Like step 2, doing this step while the cauliflower cooks saves time. You can use pre-chopped dates (about 1/4-1/3 cup), but I always have whole dates with the pits on hand so I use those in this recipe. If you choose to use whole dates with the pits, make sure to remove the pits. I like to cut the dates in half lengthwise to remove the pits then slice each half into 3-4 strips. You can then place all the strips parallel to each other and chop the dates into even pieces. One you've chopped all the dates, rinse of your fresh dill and gently pull off the feathery pieces from the stem.
Step 4: Garnish the roasted cauliflower. It's assembly time which means you'll be shoveling down this delicious cauliflower in no time! You can leave the cauliflower on the baking sheet to serve or transfer it to a serving dish. Drizzle the roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce (use as much or as little as you desire), top with chopped dates, and garnish GENEROUSLY with fresh dill. Now dig in!
What’s in This Recipe?
Cauliflower – contains vitamin C, folate, fiber, and antioxidants
Canola oil – contains heart healthy unsaturated fats
Seasonings – paprika, salt, and black pepper
Lemon juice – contains vitamin C and acid
Tahini – contains vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber, and plant based protein; nut free
Maple syrup – natural sweetener
Water – thins out the tahini sauce
Dates – natural sweetener; contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals
Fresh dill – adds flavor, contains vitamin C, manganese, folate, and iron
Notes: This recipe is naturally gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and vegan. *This recipe is best served fresh, but you can save leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Copycat True Food Charred Cauliflower
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Head of cauliflower
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. paprika
Black pepper to taste
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. water
4 dates, pitted and chopped
2 tbsp. fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 400oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and chop the head of cauliflower into florets (see this article for a step by step on how to cut a head of cauliflower into florets).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower florets, canola oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, paprika, and black pepper two taste. Toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated.
Pour the coated cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread so the cauliflower florets do not overlap. Roast for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the tahini sauce by combining the lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, tahini, maple syrup, and water in a small mason jar with a top. Shake until combined.
Once the cauliflower is done cooking, drizzle with tahini sauce, sprinkle with chopped dates, and garnish with fresh dill.
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