If there's one thing I've learned from being in a relationship with the kind of guy who swears that Fantasy Football is a way of life, it's that if I want to be able to eat something at a Superbowl party, then I probably need to bring it myself. Your average "football food" isn't exactly veg-friendly, so while everyone else is chowing down on deli subs and buffalo wings, I'm left with chips, dip, and occasionally a crudite platter (if I'm lucky). I assume many of the vegetarians and vegans out there can relate?
Well, this roasted buffalo cauliflower sandwich is my answer to all of our Sunday football marathon problems. And then some. I first tried buffalo cauliflower out of the hot foods bar from a local grocery store and I was instantly hooked. During college I pretty much lived on buffalo chicken pizza so I consider myself something of a buffalo sauce connoisseur, and the flavors on this cauliflower were so spot on you couldn't miss the meat even if you tried. I knew that if anything was going to hold it's own on the Superbowl buffet table, this would be it.
A girl (or boy) can't live on roasted cauliflower alone, spicy though it may be, so I turned it into these buffalo cauliflower sandwiches! With layers of buffalo sauce-spiced cauliflower, lettuce, tomato, and a goat cheese-mascarpone spread to cut the heat, these pack some serious flavor and texture punch. First, the cauliflower is roasted in a basic blend of olive oil, water and salt until it is browned and caramelized. Then, it is tossed with a spicy buffalo sauce and roasted again to seal in all that flavor. The goat cheese-mascarpone spread is my alternative to blue cheese sauce, which tends to be a little bit overpowering for me. I used an herb-infused goat cheese for this, but you can use any plain or flavored goat cheese that you prefer.
My only word of advice when it comes to these is to make enough for both the vegetarians and the so-called carnivores who will be partying with you...because I guarantee they'll be a favorite regardless of which "team" you root for!
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 ounces herb goat cheese
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 mini baguettes or sub rolls cut in half and toasted
- Lettuce and tomato slices for serving
- Heat oven to 400ºF.
- In a large bowl toss together the cauliflower, water, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt. Spread the cauliflower on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the hot sauce, melted butter, and lemon juice. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss with the hot sauce mixture. Roast for another 6-8 minutes.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the goat cheese, mascarpone, remaining olive oil, and milk. Pulse until combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Spread both sides of each of the rolls with the goat cheese-mascarpone spread. Add a layer of lettuce and tomato slices to the bottom half of each roll, then top with the roasted cauliflower. Serve warm.