Well, would you look at that? It’s Saturday! Again! It sort of snuck up on me, the week whisking by in a whirl of work, but now that it’s here, I’m ready to embrace it wholeheartedly. There are groceries to stock up on, recipes to make, a book club book to finish, people to see, couches to be sprawled upon, photos to be snapped. And, of course, both days, there is a lunch to be had. A lunch not eaten at my desk. A lunch not spooned hurriedly from a reusable container. A lunch right at home, eaten with Kevin and created in our kitchen.
Can you tell that I prefer the weekend lunch to the weekday lunch—to put it mildly? It’s like Saturday morning versus Monday morning. Or July versus January. No contest: weekend lunch wins. If it’s not a mishmosh collection of cheese and fruit and flatbreads and nuts, it might be a bowl of soup or, more often, sandwiches.
And our sandwich roster is deep: a split baguette, stuffed with roasted vegetables or Italian cold cuts and cheese; a holiday meal repurposed with brisket, sliced thin, piled atop challah; a creamy (yet mayo-less) chicken salad on multi-grain; the classic B.L.T.; several incarnations of the of gussied-up grilled cheese.
An obvious omission from this list was the reuben, especially considering it’s one of Kevin’s favorite deli choices. I must confess, too, that I am to blame for the reuben’s absence in our kitchen. Not much for sauerkraut (though I think I could be convinced) and staunchly thousand island-averse (here, I will not budge), the reuben held no allure.
Until. Until I saw a Fine Cooking recipe that swapped out the ‘kraut for a zingy, quick slaw and the thousand island for a homemade slather that I tweaked to include plain yogurt and tomato sauce (along with the sun dried tomatoes called for in the recipe). The slaw and the slather, along with smoked turkey and Swiss cheese, grilled between slices of multi-grain brain, became lunch a couple Saturdays ago—a good day, not unlike the one I hope will unfold today.
Happy Saturday, all!
Smoked Turkey Reubens
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Yield: 4 sandwiches
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 4 oz.)
3/4 cup finely diced kosher dill pickle (from 1 large)
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup plain yogurt (full or low-fat)
3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbs. canned or jarred tomato sauce (pure, pureed tomatoes)
8 slices whole wheat bread
12 thin slices smoked turkey
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage and pickles with the vinegar and 1/2 tsp. salt. Transfer to a colander, set it in the sink, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the yogurt, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato sauce in a food processor until the tomatoes are finely chopped.
Squeeze the cabbage mixture to remove any excess liquid and return to the bowl. Toss the cabbage with 2 Tbs. of the yogurt mixture.
Spread the remaining yogurt mixture on one side of each slice of the bread. Assemble the sandwiches, layering the turkey, cabbage, and cheese over 4 slices of the bread and topping with the other 4 slices. Spread the outsides of the sandwiches with the butter.
Heat a large grill pan, skillet, or stovetop griddle over medium-low heat. Working in batches if necessary, put the sandwiches in the pan, top with a grill press or heavy skillet to weigh them down, and cook until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until browned and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes more. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.