I found this eye-catching recipe in a magazine while I was waiting for my car’s oil to be changed. I actually think I ended up bringing the whole magazine home, in the end. Oops.

(photo of magazine recipe-close up)

It’s a pretty simple concept: you replace the corned beef on a Reuben sandwich with sliced, sauteed, ruby-red beets. The result is a surprisingly flavorful, vegetarian crowd-pleaser with a tangy bite.

I’ve fiddled with this a couple of times now, and the variations have all been hits. I’ll try and point out your options with this puppy, because you should definitely eat it, and you may even have most of the ingredients already in the house.

(photo of dish)

Zesty Beet Reuben

Adapted from Food and Wine, April 2014

So the original recipe starts out with fresh, whole beets. Probably locally grown beets that I picked up at the farmer’s market on the way home. If you are going to attempt this, you’ll need the instructions for roasting whole beets here: (splendid table link?). I, however, used canned beets. Since I didn’t feel like cranking on the oven for this weekend, I decided to give it a whirl. We even already had a can of lovely sliced beets in the pantry. And hey! They worked great! While the star of the show in a fresh-beet sandwich might end up being the actual beet, the canned version serves more as a nice, earthy, rather meaty base for all the deliciousness piled around them. I used Pumpernickel and a dense, chewy light rye on separate occasions, both with great success. I am not generally the biggest fan of rye, but I may be coming around (largely due to this sandwich). The light rye may have been slightly favored at my house, but just pick your favorite rye bread. It’s hard to go wrong with good bread.

Serves 4


8 slices good rye bread

1 can sliced beets, liquid reserved

1 can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

4 oz Yummy’s Choice Original Feta Blocks

4 oz Yummy’s Choice Zesty Sauce

Toast bread: Crumble one ounce of feta onto each of four slices of the rye. Place them under the broiler until the cheese is golden and the toast is brown. Toast the remaining four bread slices as usual

Saute beets: Film a 12-inch straight-sided saute pan with olive oil, and place on medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, place the sliced beets in a single layer around the pan so they don’t touch each other. Saute until golden on both sides, approximately 6 minutes per side. The beets are sturdy, but try to avoid flipping more than necessary so they don’t fall apart. When they are golden on both sides, set aside on a plate to cool. Return the empty pan to the heat.

Sauerkraut: In the same pan, place the drained and rinsed sauerkraut on high heat. When it begins to crackle and pop slightly, pour the reserved beet liquid over the sauerkraut to make it pink, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir the sauerkraut with a wooden spoon or spatula until all liquid has evaporated and the sauerkraut has minimal char.

Assemble sandwich: Place each feta toast face up on a plate. Take the remaining four pieces of toast and spread one ounce of Zesty Sauce on each slice. Set aside. Distribute the sliced, cooled beets equally between the feta toasts, and cover beets with sauerkraut. Top with reserved Zesty toasts. Serve remaining sauerkraut on the side, along with extra Zesty Sauce if desired.

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