“Rue-Not” Reuben

This is an offbeat take on the classic Rueben sandwich. It’s vegetarian and healthy, but don’t let that stop you. Those paying attention will see some similarities with an earlier sandwich. I keep telling you, experiment!

Shopping List

Dark or Marble Rye bread, thickly sliced
2 red peppers
Roasted garlic
Fresh basil
Sauerkraut, drained
Bean sprouts
Good aged Swiss cheese
Large portabella caps
Montreal steak seasoning
8 oz package cream cheese
Olive Oil

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Spread

Roast 1 whole garlic bulb until soft. If you need instructions on this, please email me. Roast the 2 red peppers over a grill or in a hot oven. You want to get that good black charred skin you see on the Food Network all the time. Place the peppers in a paper bag and let rest for a bit. Once they have cooled enough to handle, remove the charred skin, seeds, pith and stem. Do not wash them; you will wash away the flavor. Not kidding. Get out the trusty old food processor and squeeze the roasted garlic in, add the peppers, 4 oz of the cream cheese and the juice of one lime. Start it up and let it run until the peppers are smooth. If it’s still a little runny, add in more cream cheese. While the processor is still going, drizzle in some olive oil. Don’t need a lot, just enough to give it a little shine. Salt and pepper to taste. You may also want to add in some hot sauce, I’ll leave it up to you. Remove the spread from the processor and place in a plastic container. Take half of a cucumber, peel and seed it, then dice it fine. Fold the cucumber into the spread for a little texture.

The “Corned-beef”

Brush any dirt off the mushroom caps and lightly coat with olive oil. Sprinkle Montreal steak seasoning over both sides and grill until tender. Place on paper towels, top side up.

The Building of a Classic

Take 2 thick slices of the dark rye, and smear the roasted pepper spread on both slices. Go as thick as you want. On one slice add some cucumber slices, sprinkle some julienned basil, then a layer of sauerkraut and bean sprouts mixed together, add the still warm portabella cap (or two) and then top with Swiss cheese. Cover with the other slice of bread and lightly grill, just enough to get a little toasting to the bread. Cut on a diagonal and place on a plate with some thick potato chips. Drink wise, I’d recommend ice-cold summer ales or a chilled Viognier.

The “meatiness” of the portabella in this sandwich is complimented well by the tang of the basil and sauerkraut. The roasted pepper spread adds an earthy layer that comes alive with the addition of lime. Add in the crunch of the sprouts and the creaminess of the cheese and you’ve got nirvana on a plate.


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