Smashed Cauliflower Sandwiches with Roasted Asparagus


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    6 to 8


Appears in



By Todd Porter

Published 2013

  • About

We generally try to avoid eating carb-heavy lunches because they make us so sleepy. Though we love an occasional siesta, it’s not always practical when we’re at a photo shoot. So to keep our sandwich meals light but still fulfilling, we’ll top one slice of grilled bread with cauliflower and roasted vegetables, and voilà—our bellies are happy and we can still get some work done.


For the Smashed Cauliflower

  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons crushed garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
  • 1 medium head (about 2 pounds / 910g) cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (480ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

For the Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 pound (455g) asparagus
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme or tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Rosemary olive oil bread, or your favorite bread
  • Tomatoes, sliced or cut into wedges
  • Arugula



  1. Make the smashed cauliflower: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until light golden, stirring very frequently.
  2. Add the cauliflower and milk. Raise the heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium (the mixture should be at a vigorous simmer without boiling over).
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Mash the cauliflower roughly. Season with the salt.
  5. Make the roasted asparagus: Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  6. On a sheet pan, toss together the asparagus, thyme, and oil. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Roast for 10 minutes, toss the asparagus, then roast for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the asparagus is lightly browned and tender.
  8. Assemble the sandwiches: Slice and toast the bread. Spread a ¼-inch (6-mm) layer of smashed caulifower on each slice of bread. Add a couple slices of tomato, some arugula, and top with a few spears of asparagus. Cut the slices in half and serve.