Garden Lifestyle

Veggie Reuben

This is one of my favorite sandwiches and it is most delicious when you use your own sauerkraut, pickles and peppers. The secret is in the sauce...

Veggie reuben or pumpernickel with homemade sauerkraut will make your tastebuds tapdance! Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
Photo/Illustration: Tomaso


You’ll need the following for one sandwich–just multiply the amounts by how many sandwiches you are making. I love sauerkraut and have tried all kinds on my reubens from garlic dill pickle to smoked jalapeno and ginger beet to sea kraut–and savored every bite.

2 slices crusty, bread; seeded rye or pumpernickel (Russian pumpernickel is great with onions and raisins)

Secret Sauce (see below)

about 4 slices Swiss cheese (Jarlsburg is my fav)

generous 1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained (save the juice for a healthy and tasty, not to mention eye-popping, sauerkraut shooter; I make my own kraut or buy it in the refrigerator section of the healthfood store–Farmhouse Culture and Hex (local) are two brands that I enjoy)

Secret Sauce

This sauce is mostly composed of condiments one has on hand in the fridge. It doesn’t have to be measured exactly—you can add more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste. I use a good-quality mayo with no sugar and organic ketchup with no corn syrup. I often use my own spicy bread and butter pickles; if you like it spicy, add another hot pepper. The sauce is good on many kinds of sandwiches and burgers.

Makes about 1 cup

Generous half cup of mayonnaise
About 1/3 cup organic ketchup
5 or 6 slices bread and butter pickles, chopped
2 or 3 teaspoons pickle juice, optional
1 or 2 fermented or pickled jalapenos or serrano peppers, chopped
1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Store in refrigerator for a week or so, if it lasts that long. Makes enough for 4 to 8 sandwiches, depending upon size and how thick or thin you spread it.

Unsalted butter for grilling

This is one of my favorite sandwiches and it is most delicious when you use your own sauerkraut, pickles and peppers. The secret is in the sauce…

Assemble the sandwich by spreading both slices of bread with secret sauce. I like to build the sandwich right on the griddle because it starts the bread toasting and the cheese melting.

Heat a griddle over medium heat. Once hot, put a pat of butter in the center, let it melt and place the bottom slice of bread spread with sauce facing up on the buttered griddle. Turn the heat to medium low.

Next, place 2 slices of Swiss on the bottom half, spread the kraut over the cheese, top with the other 2 slices of cheese and the bread, secret sauce down. Place a flat lid on the sandwich and press lightly.

Grill the sandwich for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the bottom layer of cheese begins to melt. Spread a little butter on the outside, top slice of bread and carefully flip it over. Replace the lid and grill the other side for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, cut in half and eat immediately.



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