Toasted bread slathered with nutty romesco sauce and layered with roasted cauliflower, fresh veggies & herbs makes the perfect vegetarian sandwich.
I have to admit something to you. This food blog job isn’t always as glamorous as you may think it is. It’s a job, like any job, with fun parts (cooking! eating!) and less fun parts that involve sitting behind a computer monitor, editing, writing, emailing, etc. It’s not a sad life by any stretch, but it’s also not glitz and glory – it’s work. Except… when some of the opportunities that come my way are totally out of left field – and I find myself going to California for a day touring an absolutely beautiful almond orchard instead of touring Adobe Lightroom.
A few weeks ago I went to visit Chamisal Creek, a family farm that’s part of the co-op of farmers that make up Blue Diamond Almond Growers. It was a (surprisingly!) sunny day and the orchard was in full bloom. We ate Almond Breeze blueberry muffins, learned about the process of growing almonds, and enjoyed a beautiful farm-to-table lunch.
The romesco sandwiches they served at the lunch inspired this recipe. My version here is made vegetarian by using roasted cauliflower as the “meat” of the sandwich – to me cauliflower and romesco go together like
peanut butter almond butter and jelly.
For me, it was really impactful to see that these orchards are pretty small family farms. The almonds that go into Almond Breeze aren’t grown at a giant mega-farm or anything like that, they’re grown exclusively by independent farms in the Blue Diamond Growers co-op. This farm, owned by Michael Dougherty and his family, is a 700-acre farm that grows 12 varieties of almonds and also produces wine, olive oil, and peaches. By being a part of the co-op, the farmers get much-needed support, and in turn Blue Diamond gets high quality almonds. Almond Breeze is the only almond milk brand that actually has the orchards within its own organization.
Here are some pics from our dreamy visit!:
Driving to the orchard, I was surprised how much the almond trees looked like cherry blossoms:
The tour ended with this sweet vegan pear tart, which is on my list to make soon!
Romesco Cauliflower Sandwiches
- 1 small head of cauliflower*
- 8 slices of ciabatta or sourdough bread
- Handful of salad greens
- Several pieces of thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tomatoes, sliced and seasoned with sea salt and pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tomato, halved and cored
- 1 roasted red pepper, fresh or from a jar
- ¼ cup toasted almonds
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original Unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the cauliflower into ½-inch slabs and place onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender in the middle and golden around the edges.
- Make the Romesco Sauce: In a blender, combine the tomato, roasted red pepper, almonds, garlic, olive oil, almond milk, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Assemble the sandwiches with the romesco sauce, salad greens, red onions, tomato slices and roasted cauliflower and a few sprigs of parsley.
Special thanks to Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk for sending me on this trip. All opinions and photos are my own.
I made these sandwiches for a graduation lunch because a family member is vegan. They were outstanding! Just loved them! One change I did make was to use sauteed onions instead of raw. Will definitely make them again. And thanks for the wonderful recipe. I love your website.
I’m so glad you loved them!
The romesco sauce in this recipe is incredible! I’m obsessed. It definitely doesn’t make extra for me because I lather it on there! 🙂 Since I found this recipe a few months ago, I’ve made it monthly! It’s absolutely delicious.
i made this yesterday and it was fantastic. super simple but what a great flavor combo. thanks so much for the recipe!
Hi Kate – I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed these!
Not a ‘vegan’, but have to watch my carbs..weight…etc so this looks like a very interesting. and delicious alternative to a traditional meat sandwich.
Thanks for the idea !
I love reading food blogs. Looking at all the different recipes and thinking of how I’m able to convert them to a New Thai style dish. Keep up the good work.
Love your inspiration! This is such an awesome way to prepare cauliflowers.
Looks really delicious!looks colourful and healthy recipes. Its quite been easy to prepare. Best wishes Gamevillage
Amazing idea and beautiful pictures! I love your blog!
Cauliflower is such a lovely dish to make. I’m trying to stay away from foods containing GMO and Glutein, and cauliflower can be a good alternative for it. Actually, a friend of mine introduced her flour recipe made out of cauliflower where she often makes pizza, and some pastries.
Anyway, the sandwiches surely looks a good one to try.
Oh my, almond orchards in bloom are one of my favorite childhood memories. Did you try the tiny fuzzy green emerging almonds? I have never made a Romesco sauce. This will be my first. Thank you. -Hanne
that sandwich spread sounds fantastic!
I can practically smell those almond blossoms. Lovely photography!! A shout out to our sisters and brothers in arms from the realfood-project.com
So I totally read this as “romanesco” cauliflower and was confused to see regular white cauliflower in your beautiful photos! I always love your recipes, so I’ll be trying this one soon!
Look delicious and healthy. Today I made it and my kids really enjoy it. Thanks for providing this latest and yummy recipe.
I’m really, really excited to read about this co-op. It’s hard to tell in grocery stores full of misleading labels what purchases are supporting good, independent, family farmers and sustainable/organic farming, versus what is supporting corporations or groups with less-ethical farming practices. It’s really great to hear about the Blue Diamond Growers co-op and see how Almond Breeze is handling the making of its almond milk. Thanks for sharing, Jeanine! I’d love to hear more about the particulars of the co-op and how it works; feel free to email me or something if you have anything you think would be interesting 🙂
Cauliflower steaks are one of my favourites, and these sandwiches look so good. Such a beautiful event too
WHY DID I HAVE TO SEE THIS BEFORE LUNCH AT WORK? I want this instead 😞. Fantastic photos by the way.
Yes, completely agree cauliflower and romesco go together like AB&J. 😉 Awesome sandwich idea. Could see them making beautiful open-faced sandwiches too.
I LOVE romesco. It’s served here with grilled onions, a specialty of Andorra. The idea of spreading it on bread and topping with cauliflower has my mouth watering. Thank you for this brilliant combo!