Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Sandwich

Hilary and Ron worked together to prepare dinner last night, while I sat at the other end of the kitchen and played guest. What a treat! Ron built a healthy and delicious Greek salad and Hilary prepared an amazing roasted cauliflower sandwich. 

Usually I rave about toasted meat and cheese sandwich combinations, not roasted veggies, but this sandwich deserves enthusiastic praise. It comes long distance from one Washington to another; via Hilary from Ann Marie's recreated version of a favorite at Taylor Gourmet in Washington DC - with a few suggested tweaks of my own.

Sandwich love happens when the first bite brings a satisfied smile and happy taste buds without the brain fretting over what's on the inside of the fresh, crusty roll. Yum! Sweet, spicy, tangy, smooth and crunchy registered immediately and called for a second bite. Mmmmmm, this was SO tasty and satisfying that I didn't want to set the sandwich back down on my plate between bites. 

Hilary had raved about the sandwich when she enjoyed Ann Marie's original, but I blew off the notion that a vegan sandwich could be all that good. Wrong! The filling combination hit all the right flavor and texture notes and I'm already plotting some other presentations: tortilla wraps, savory crepes, pizzas or open-faced tartines...  

No, I'm not going to forgo my favorite green chile cheeseburgers or grilled cheese combinations, but this Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Sandwich has joined my list of favorites. Try it, you're going to love it and won't miss the meat. I promise. 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Sandwich with Hummus and Greens
variation of a recipe from Ann Marie at CiaoMama


1 head cauliflower
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
smoked salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large crunchy rolls or buns, warmed or toasted
hummus (homemade or purchased)
sweet Thai chili sauce
arugula, spinach and/or baby kale


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil for easier clean up. 
  2. While the oven is heating, cut cauliflower into bite-size pieces and wash thoroughly. Thoroughly pat dry on paper towels.
  3. Spread cauliflower on baking sheet. Pour olive oil over the cauliflower florets; then sprinkle with cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, smoked salt and pepper. Use a clean hand or wide rubber spatula and toss the cauliflower to evenly coat each piece with oil and spices. Then spread out evenly in a single layer across the foil-lined pan.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and toast the cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, giving the pan a little shake half way through. When roasted to your liking (lightly colored OR with little crunchy, burnt bits), remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Slice the rolls horizontally and spread both top and bottom halves with hummus. Top each bottom half with cauliflower, a drizzle of sweet Thai chili sauce and a handful of arugula. Add the top part of the roll, compress slightly and enjoy.

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