During college, a friend and I would go regularly to a deli in NYC and I'd always get talked into getting a Reuben. Now, don't get me wrong … it was delicious. I just felt full and bloated for the next 24 hours when I had one and kinda swore off them after graduating and finding myself back in the Midwest where I had been raised. After all, in the land of meat and potatoes meals, I really didn't need to add a heavy sandwich to the menu routine I was already finding ways to green up and slim down. But … it turns out my beloved is a fan of the salt-cured brisket, so I spent a bit of time trying to built a compromise and this is it.
Now, this is a highly tweakable sandwich. I opted to skip sauerkraut in favor of a blend of fresh chopped cabbage and green onions tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. I think the tang of the vinegar in the dressing gives enough of a nod to both the traditional sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing usually called for that I skipped them entirely. Saves calories, salt, and yields a sandwich that is decidedly less gloppy. I have made this sandwich with nice marble rye, but this time around I had some lovely everything sourdough bread that crisps up beautifully in the panini press (you can use a griddle or skillet instead) and the sesame and poppy seeds add a little crunch that I rather loved. Instead of the standard Swiss cheese, I used some Carr Valley Cave-Aged Marisa, which is a sheep's milk cheese made near my home. Pick what gives you joy. And I used some leftover corned beef I'd roasted and sliced after picking one up after St. Patrick's Day. Yay for sales! Again, tweak until it's yours and enjoy it.
Alongside my sandwiches, I served some salt and pepper kettle chips and a creamy coleslaw. I figured since I was chopping cabbage for the sandwiches, I could make a double batch and have an easy salad too. I didn't get around to adding a pickle to my plate, but it's usually a good choice too. Of course, potato salad, a green salad, or even a pasta salad will all work well too. This is perfect for taking to a patio or porch and enjoying on a nice spring day.
- ¼ cup lemon vinaigrette dressing - choose a variety you enjoy
- 2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 8 slices marble rye bread or everything sourdough bread
- 8 slices Swiss cheese or Carr Valley Cave-Aged Marisa
- 16 slices sliced corned beef - from the deli or your kitchen
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat a large griddle, skillet, or panini press over medium heat. Toss together the dressing, cabbage, and green onions to make a light coleslaw; set aside.
On each of four bread slices, layer one slice cheese, 4 slices corned beef, ⅓ cup coleslaw mix, and a second slice of cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices. Butter the top of each sandwich.
Place the sandwiches, butter-side down on the preheated griddle, skillet, or panini press; butter the top of each sandwich with the remaining butter. Grill until both sides are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side - or press the sandwiches in the panini press for 5-6 minutes. Serve hot.
- Yields: 4 sandwiches
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes