A lightened up version of the classic sandwich made with cauliflower bread instead of French toast.
Comfort food is a term that is way overused nowadays, but, if there was ever a dish worthy of this label, it is the Monte Cristo Sandwich. A Monte Cristo is nothing more than a grilled ham and cheese sandwich made on French toast. It’s typically dusted with powdered sugar, cut into triangles, and served with some type of dipping sauce. These sandwiches are sweet, salty, warm, soft, and gooey. They’re also incredibly heavy and filling. Cauliflower Monte Cristo Sandwiches are a lightened-up version of the classic sandwich, but no less delicious. Instead of French toast, the ham and cheese is layered in between a baked cauliflower mixture that resembles slices of bread. Serve these delicious sandwiches with dabs of Dijon mustard and some maple syrup dipping sauce on the side.
Cauliflower Monte Cristo Sandwiches make great appetizers and bar food. Cut each sandwich into four triangles for perfect hand-held portions.
The cauliflower bread slices used in Cauliflower Monte Cristo Sandwiches bake up so golden and crispy that you won’t believe you’re eating mostly veggies. If you want uniform cauliflower bread slices that are all the same size here is a tip – use an 8-inch x 8-inch square pan as a mold. Line the pan with plastic wrap then press the cauliflower mixture into the pan in one even layer. Turn it over onto the baking sheet and peel off the plastic wrap. Score the mixture down the middle vertically and horizontally and then bake to form four bread slices.
Cauliflower Monte Cristo Sandwiches are cooked entirely in the oven so there is no being tethered to the stovetop or splattering grease to deal with, which is one more reason you will love them!
- 1 pound bag of frozen cauliflower florets
- ½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup of shredded Gruyere (Swiss) cheese
- 6 slices of deli ham
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Microwave the cauliflower on high along with 2 tablespoons of water in a covered casserole dish for 12 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Using a potato masher, or the tines of a fork, mash and break apart the cauliflower until only small pieces remain. Let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Once cooled, place the cauliflower on a clean dish towel or a piece of cheese cloth and twist it tightly into a ball to wring out all the water. (You can also use a potato ricer to do this if you have one.)
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Mix well.
- To make the cauliflower bread slices evenly divide the mixture into 4 scoops on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and flatten each pile. Using your hands and a bench scraper, shape into square slices approximately 4 inches x 4 inches. (See notes for an alternative method of shaping bread slices.) Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-17 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place ¼ cup of cheese on two of the bread slices followed by 3 slices of ham and another ¼ cup of cheese. Top with the other cauliflower bread slices and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and starting to ooze out the side.
- Serve with Dijon mustard and maple syrup dipping sauce.
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