Today I’m sharing a vegan recipe for cauliflower bisque from the Crossroads cookbook by Tal Ronnen.
I have been dying to visit Crossroads in Los Angeles ever since it came on the scene in 2013. It was opened by Tal Ronnen along with executive chef, Scot Jones, and master vegan baker, Serafina Magnussen. You may have seen Tal on Oprah or heard about the vegan menus he created at the Wynn Hotels. (That may be the only reason I would ever feel the desire to return to Vegas again.)
The Mediterranean restaurant offers a fine dining experience that is 100% vegan. Visiting vegan restaurants is often a casual affair. No reservations needed, come as you are. That makes a vegan fine dining experience like they offer at Crossroads in LA that much more inviting. On birthdays and anniversaries it’s a pleasure to have a restaurant where you can wear a nice dress, order a fancy cocktail, and start the evening with an amuse bouche.
Until I’m able to book my next trip to sunny Southern California, I can get a taste of what’s in store for me through the Crossroads cookbook. Crossroads is stunning and would do just as well on the coffee table as it would in the cookbook holder.
This Mediterranean cookbook puts vegetables in the forefront, preparing them in new and unusual ways that highlight and accentuate their innate flavors. There are snacks and spreads, salads, and flatbreads, soups, small plates, pastas, cocktails, and more.
In addition to the recipes themselves, I like it when cookbook authors transport me to another place or time in their introduction to each recipe. I want to know about the little café where they had something similar or the trip where they discovered an ingredient they couldn’t live without. In this cookbook, there’s plenty of that, and I could enjoy it simply as reading material if I didn’t long to cook from it too.
Speaking of which, I have a number of restaurant cookbooks in my collection, and admittedly, most of them don’t get a ton of use. Because restaurant dishes are often quite laborious, it’s not always what I’m looking for on a Tuesday night. Refreshingly, Crossroads has plenty of less arduous options, along with involved recipes for when you feel like more of a project.
Cauliflower Bisque with Fried Capers
I had a chance to make this cauliflower bisque with fried capers from the book.
This cauliflower soup is velvety smooth and silky, because of its cashew cream base. It’s made with roasted cauliflower, garlic, leeks, and onions. The roasting adds extra dimension and depth to the soup. Finally, it’s finished with briny fried capers. The capers add a bolt of unexpected interest to the soup, giving an intense burst of flavor.
This soup is dinner-party worthy and would surely impress any guests. I made the full recipe for the soup with the intention of freezing it, but that never came to pass. I happily ate it over a few days until the soup vanished.
Because I knew I’d be eating the cauliflower bisque on my own, I made a few changes to pare down the calories. I reduced the extra-virgin olive oil & Earth Balance to one Tablespoon each. The soup was still plenty rich and full-bodied without them. I also used bouillon and water instead of vegetable stock, because that’s what I had on hand.
Thanks to the book’s publisher, Artisan Books, I’m able to share the recipe for this cauliflower soup with you today. I know you’ll enjoy it.