I can say with confidence that most of my fellow Englishmen and women will not know what a reuben is, nor therefore, ever eaten one. I was, up until about 7 months ago, partially the same in that I had never eaten one but did know what one was thanks to Isa Chandra and the first book of hers I ever owned, Vegan with a Vengeance.
It was when I went to visit friends in America that I had my first taste of a Reuben sandwich; by way of a bite of Somer of Vedged Out‘s sandwich at Vertical Diner in Salt Lake City. I think a thought of ‘damn, why does my stomach have limits so I couldn’t eat that too?’ actually crossed my mind. It was just delicious and it was a bite of a sandwich that stayed with me. When I reached California and lunched in Real Food Daily, I ordered a Reuben and my love was confirmed.
I spent weeks when I returned home attempting to ferment my own sauerkraut but after three attempts all which ended up mouldy and rancid, I caved and purchased some so that I could make my sandwich!
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 8 slices of rye or seeded bread
- 1 block (400g) marinated tofu (shop bought or marinate using the seasoning and bake as in this recipe), sliced into rectangular strips.
- 120g (about 1/4 recipe) vegan cheese
- 400g (about 2 cups) fresh, raw sauerkraut
- 5 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1 very small onion, chopped fine (about 2 tbsp)
- 3 tsp drained capers
- 2 tbsp chopped gherkins
- 1/2-1 tsp ground black pepper
- Heat a cast iron pan or frying pan over a medium heat. Prepare the marinated tofu if not using shop bought.
- Mix together the dressing ingredients and have the cheese and sauerkraut ready.
- If using shop bought marinated tofu, sear the slices in the hot pan, remove and set aside.
- To prepare each sandwich, place one slice of bread in the pan until the underside is lightly toasted then remove and add a second piece, layer in the tofu, cheese, sauerkraut and dressing then top with the earlier toasted slice of bread, toasted side up. When the base is toasted, remove from the pan, slice and repeat for the remaining sandwiches.
Low in saturated fat
High in vitamin C