Saucy Maitake Reuben
My Dad’s favorite thing to eat when he comes to visit me in New York City is a pastrami sandwich. Mom’s favorite is the reuben. Our family’s love of deli food stretches back to the 1960s.
Dad often traveled to NYC to undergo medical treatments as a kid. As the story goes, he and my Grandma were the only adventurous eaters in the family. Because it was just the two of them on these trips, they would use the opportunity to try different kinds of ethnic food in New York, and Jewish deli food was by far their favorite. I think their adventures were also Grandma’s way of lifting Dad’s spirits, to help get his mind off of the treatments and celebrate the good things the city had to offer.
Food has continued to be an adventure and a comfort tool in my family. For me, making plant-based meals takes it one step further, because replacing ingredients is always an adventure (the yogurt is the greatest one yet). And the comfort comes from knowing that I’m making a choice that benefits both my family’s health and the planet. And even if what I make does not have meat, if it is tasty (and hearty) my parents will eat and love it. For Father’s Day this year and every year, food is the #1 request. Dad, this one’s for you!
Maitake Reuben with Secret Sauce
½ hd red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup apple juice
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 cup Anita’s Yogurt
½ ea lemon, juiced
1 tbp paprika
2 tsp ketchup
1 tbp relish
2 tbp safflower oil
8 oz maitake mushrooms, delicately torn into large pieces
2 ea dill pickles, sliced on the bias
2 ea sandwich rolls, halved
sea salt, to taste
optional: 1 pinch each ground black pepper, coriander, mustard and caraway
In a large bowl, massage the cabbage with the red wine vinegar, apple juice, and cloves. Set aside to pickle while you prepare the rest of the sandwiches, stirring occasionally.
To make the sauce, combine Anita’s Yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, ketchup, and relish in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil. After the oil is hot, add half the mushrooms in a single layer and leave them to brown on the bottom, then use a spatula to turn them and continue to cook until deeply browned at the edges. Finish with salt and seasoning blend (if using). Transfer to a plate and repeat with the second half of the mushrooms.
To assemble, toast buns in a hot, lightly oiled pan. Spread sauce on the bottom half of both rolls. Layer half the mushrooms on each, add a layer of pickles, a handful of pickled red cabbage, a generous drizzle of sauce, and finish with the remaining half of each roll. Serve hot, with a side of pickles.