Recipe: Broccoli Reuben Sandwich
As a vegetarian, sandwiches aren't really my thing. At least, they weren't my thing until I discovered Court Street Grocers, a Brooklyn-based sandwich shop that now has four locations in New York City.
Not only do they serve spectacular classic sandwiches, but they also offer creative vegetarian versions of many of them: ham and cheese can be made as a yam and cheese (roasted sweet potato with whipped goat cheese), an Italian hero becomes a vegitalian (made with butternut squash in place of mortadella and capicola), and, my all-time favorite, a classic reuben becomes a broccoli reuben, made with crispy roasted broccoli, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on rye. It's so good that even when I order it to go, I can't make it a full block without devouring the first half. Here's my at-home version of their crazy-good creation.
Why This Broccoli Reuben Is Even Better than the Original
Admittedly, I don't think I've ever had a traditional reuben sandwich, but I can't imagine a pile of limp corned beef is a better reuben contender than crispy, crunchy, garlicky broccoli, piled onto the sandwich as soon as it's done roasting. To get a deep, flavorful char on the broccoli florets and stems, you'll slick them with a generous coat of oil and roast them in a hot (450°F) oven.
As the broccoli cooks, you can ready the rest of your ingredients: sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and sliced rye or pumpernickel bread (or a marbled loaf). Instead of bothering with a homemade Russian dressing, I've found a simple combination of mayonnaise and Sriracha creates a creamy, spicy spread that tastes pretty darn close to Court Street Grocer's house-made "comeback sauce," which they slather onto a good number of their creations.
To transform these ingredients into the best-ever sandwich, you'll want to be strategic: Spread the spicy mayo onto both slices of bread and then add the sauerkraut, then the broccoli, then the Swiss cheese, ensuring the cheese melts directly onto the veggie. You'll cook the sandwich in butter for extra flavor, and as it cooks, weigh it down with a heavy skillet (such as cast iron) to help everything hold together and create an extra-crispy crust.
Broccoli Reuben Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches
broccoli (about 3 stalks), florets cut into very small pieces and stalks peeled and cut into rounds (4 cups florets and 2 cups stalks)
Freshly ground black pepper
Sriracha hot sauce
rye or pumpernickel bread
Swiss cheese (2 ounces)
unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F. Place the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, season with the salt, garlic, and several grinds pepper, and toss to combine. Spread into an even layer. Roast until tender and charred in spots, 15 to 18 minutes.
Stir the mayonnaise and Sriracha together in a small bowl. Divide evenly among the slices of bread and spread to the edges. Divide the saurkraut between 2 of the slices, followed by the roasted broccoli. Top each with 2 slices of cheese. Finish with remaining bread slices spread-side down to close the sandwiches. Spread half of the butter onto the top of each sandwich.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot, about 4 minutes. Place the sandwiches butter side down in the pan. Cover with a second large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Press down on the skillet so that it smushes the sandwiches (alternatively, press down firmly with a flat spatula). Cook until the bottoms are browned and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Uncover and spread the tops with remaining butter. Flip the sandwiches, then place the skillet on top again and press down. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the bottoms of the sandwiches are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board, cut each sandwich in half, and serve immediately.