Where's the giant bell we ring when I invent something awesome? It's still packed in a box from when we moved offices three months ago? Okay fine, I'll just announce it then. I invented something awesome to aid me in my constant battle against Meatless Monday fatigue. It's kind of like a vegetarian sloppy joe, without all of the artificial meat/sugar/salt nonsense grossness it implies. Walk with me for a moment.
I broke down a head of romanesco cauliflower into small florets and roasted them with olive oil, smashed garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice at 400F for about 45 minutes until they were golden brown and cooked through with just a little body and crunch left. Then I chopped the florets into small pieces, almost like romanesco caviar. My favorite gourmet bodega had a special on goat cheese coated with crushed red chili flakes, so I mixed the chopped roasted romanesco with…most of the cheese I bought (plus some extra lemon juice, salt and pepper).
The resulting mix subbed in for literally any deli salad in a sandwich is CRAZY superior to that soggy tuna nonsense or bland boring chicken salad, plus it's mostly vegetables. And a lot of cheese. It's a spicy romanesco goat cheese salad sandwich, and somewhere some trendy vegetarian just had an orgasm.
On non-Meatless Mondays (otherwise known as days), add in a few slices of bacon or better yet, crispy prosciutto. I believe anchovies and sardines would re-pack nicely in there. Spread it on bread with even more cheese for just…lordy, the most awesome grilled cheese. Top a burger with it! Introduce a fried egg into the mix. I am so excited about this stuff, like I was about tomatonaise. I'm having trouble thinking of things I wouldn't do with spicy romanesco goat cheese salad. I want to toss it with pasta for not-boring pasta salad. I want to stuff tomatoes with it.
How is that like a vegetarian sloppy joe, Jess? I suppose it isn't, that original concept really got away from me. Silver lining: more lunch options.
More Meatless Monday for lunch on Food Republic: