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Cauliflower Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe–Pecorino Pesto

Cauliflower Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

This broccoli rabe pesto can be used as a savory spread or a condiment for just about anything, but our favorite is on this mozzarella sandwich on sourdough. The broccoli rabe and walnuts bring a tart, tannic brightness to the creamy, dense cheese.
Servings 4


  • ½ bunch broccoli rabe roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • cups plus 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 8 thick slices sourdough bread toasted
  • ½ cup whole white anchovy fillets
  • ½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh mozzarella


  • ►Heat oven to 350°F. Combine broccoli rabe, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 cup olive oil, walnuts, Pecorino Romano, and garlic in food processor and process until smooth. Pesto will keep, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.
  • ►Toss cauliflower florets with ¼ cup olive oil and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Cool to room temperature.
  • ►Toss roasted cauliflower, anchovies, and parsley in a bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • ►Spread pesto on toasted bread. Top 4 toast slices with mozzarella, then divide cauliflower mixture evenly among them. Close sandwiches with remaining toast slices and serve.
Photography by Jennifer May

Sohail Zandi

Sohail Zandi is the chef and co-owner of Brushland Eating House in Bovina, N.Y.

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