Recipe: Vegetarian Reuben Sandwich
I’ve been a vegetarian for 11 years, and I honestly don’t think I’ve had a “real” Reuben sandwich in my entire life. It’s definitely not something my cabbage-hating parents would’ve introduced to me; as with most kids growing up, if my parents didn’t like something, then I too wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. I don’t think they’re fans of corned beef, either, as we for sure never ate it for dinner (no love lost).
I love cabbage, though, especially in Asian food, so I probably saw a vegetarian Reuben on a menu one day and was like “what the hell.” I’m not sure where this would’ve been, though…it could’ve been at The Old Monk in Dallas, a cool pub that reminds me a lot of McNellie’s. Or it could’ve actually been at McNellie’s; I know I’ve ordered their Reuben with a veggie patty before. Maybe it really was The Epic Sandwich via The Red Cup…RIP, tasty sandwich.
No matter, though. The moral of the story is that I like the flavors in Reuben sandwiches, damn it! I like Swiss cheese, I like cabbage, I like Russian/Thousand Island dressing. And I love rye bread.
Ed and I had a flash of inspiration last night and decided to make vegetarian Reubens at home. This was a first-time recipe (served with tried-and-true homemade baked sweet potato fries) and is definitely one we’ll make again. It was easy, the taste was on-point, and it was decadent without truly being that bad for you. The “meat” in this sandwich consisted of roasted mushrooms, onions and garlic, and it was fabulous. I could definitely see adding this to a pizza with ricotta and spinach or as the topping for a veggie burger.
What’s your stance on Reubens? Would you try this vegetarian version, or do you think it’s a classic sandwich best not messed with?
INGREDIENTS - SANDWICH
- 2 slice of rye bread per person
- 1-2 slices of Swiss cheese per person
- Two packages white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small red cabbage (or half a larger cabbage)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- Unsalted butter
- Olive oil
- 2 T. horseradish
- 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
INGREDIENTS - SAUCE
- 3 T. light mayo
- 2-3 T. Dijon mustard
- 2 T. dill pickle relish
- Salt & pepper
- Light Thousand Island Dressing, optional
1) Heat two pans over medium heat with some olive oil. In one pan, add the mushrooms, onions, garlic and black pepper and let cook for five minutes. In the other pan, add cabbage, salt and pepper and cook for two minutes. Add the horseradish and vinegar and cook for five more minutes.
2) Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. We had some fat-free Thousand Island dressing in the fridge, so I added a generous squeeze of it to the bowl, but that's purely optional. Whisk to combine.
3) Butter one side of a piece of bread generously. On the other side, spread the dressing. Add the mushroom/onion/garlic mixture, top with cheese, add cabbage, then add more cheese.
4) Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sandwich, butter side down. Add the top slice of bread and spread with more butter.
5) Use a press or pan to flatten the sandwich. After a few minutes, flip the sandwich and cook until golden brown. You want the brad to be nice and crusty and the cheese to be super melty!