Cauliflower, The Unsung Sandwich Hero

By Carey Jones |

© Michael Tulipan

Vegetables aren't always the sexiest of sandwich ingredients. Occasionally summer-ripe tomatoes can star in a BLT. Eggplant, maybe, if it's breaded and deep-fried until, well, it's not really recognizable as eggplant. But there is a new vegetable to add to the short list: Cauliflower. 

When punched up with Mediterranean or Southeast Asian flavors, it's a killer sandwich ingredient. And while fried cauliflower is always a good thing, but it turns out that roasted cauliflower can be just as compelling. Here are three New York cauliflower creations we've loved of late. 

Souk & Sandwich: Marinate it, then fry it—that's the genius behind the lemony-garlicky, golden-fried cauliflower in this Lebanese shop's "Arnabeet Mekle." Add tomatoes and tahini, roll it up in grilled-to-order Lebanese flatbread, and you've got a sandwich for the ages. 

Num Pang: This popular Cambodian sandwich shop, with locations across the city, makes some of the best vegetarian sandwiches we know, and their roasted cauliflower with Chinese and Thai eggplant spread is no exception—particularly after their on-every-sandwich condiments: chili mayo, cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro. 

Court Street Grocers: A sandwich shop with a flair for the peculiar, CSG’s "Uncle Chucky" starts from a base of roasted cauliflower, which meets a pumpkin seed romesco, pickled fennel, red onion, and arugula on a seeded club roll from Caputo's.   

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