Back in January, I found myself hungover in a sandwich shop in Tahoe, Nevada, ordering a vegan Reuben. I've had a few Reubens back in my meat-eating days and they were always my favorite when done right but it wasn't even about the pastrami. I like the sauerkraut (also my favorite hot dog topping), Thousand Island dressing or any creamy dressing, and melted Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese might not be my favorite cheese but I dare to argue that any cheese is made better when melted in a sandwich.
This vegan Reuben wasn't made with broccoli but I'd seen broccoli used in a sandwich via Bon Appetit youtube channel so I thought I'd give it a try putting my own crazy spin on it!
For the Sandwich:
Broccoli cut up in small florets enough to cover every inch of the bread you're using
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Roasted Red Pepper - the jar stuff is fine but if you want to go the extra mile and roast your own red pepper then by all means, go for it!
Pickles - preferably on the smaller side like cornichons and sliced thinly
Your choice of bread, Rye or Pumpernickel is more traditional but I used a seeded sourdough
For the Spread:
Traditionally, Thousand Island dressing is used for a Reuben sandwich but I didn't have that on hand so instead I used...
Toss the broccoli florets in olive oil with salt and pepper . Add broccoli to a hot pan and add the garlic at the last minute so that the garlic doesn't brown and get all bitter! You don't want to burn the broccoli but just allow it to char on parts while still maintaining a crunch. Set aside.
Stir up the spread ingredients until it tastes good to you.
Build the sandwich! Butter one side of each slice of bread and then smear some of the spread on the other side. Start by adding your pickles slices. Then pile your broccoli florets on top of the pickles. Drape the roasted red pepper strips and sauerkraut. Cover with a couple slices of the Swiss cheese and the final piece of bread on top!
Now grill that baby like a grilled cheese. Allow a pan to get hot and put the sandwich on and using another pan, smash down the sandwich so it all sticks together. Flip the sandwich, nicely browning each side and allowing the cheese to melt.
Cut and enjoy!