Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Deconstructed reuben salad (round 2 recipe)

Fellas, pay attention.  I've got a salad that's right up your alley.  It's got beef and cheese!

(Ladies, you'll love this, too, but your attention span is much longer and the word "salad" won't scare you off.)

Yesterday, I shared with you my first experience with roasted cabbage.  It was cheap, sweet and garlic-y, and utterly delicious!

But there were leftovers.  As much as I wanted to polish off the rest of the wedges, cabbage is fill-ing, with a capital F.  I'm already at a slight disadvantage being petite and having the stomach capacity to match, and there was no way I could eat 1/2 of a green cabbage.

Half of a cake or a quart of ice cream?  Absolutely.  Cake is really half air, and there's always room for ice cream.

Anyway, we had leftovers, which is a rare event in itself, but I'd planned for it.  I brainstormed how I could dress up roasted cabbage the next night so it didn't seem like merely an afterthought.

I raided the fridge and pantry for ideas when it hit me -- Thousand Island dressing!  T.I. pairs so well with cabbage.  It'd be just like a reuben sandwich.

Just.like.a.reuben.sandwich.  (smacks forehead)

And, just like that, my brain went into overdrive.  Warm roasted cabbage, thinly-sliced corned beef, juicy tomatoes, salty Swiss cheese, and creamy Thousand Island dressing.  All of the elements of the classic deli sammy.

I could've stopped there and had the most delicious and unique salad this side of the Mississippi, but I didn't.  Since when have I ever done something I was supposed to do?

Never.  And this certainly wasn't the time to try something new.  One new thing at a time.

If there's one thing (the only thing) I've learned about salads from Matt, it's that croutons are mandatory.  No croutons, no salad, no service.  So I made croutons, but amped things up a bit by using... wait for it... rye bread!  Mm hmm.

Because rye bread is what totally makes a reuben, right?  Therefore, according to the salad laws of the universe, toasted buttery rye bread croutons are necessary in order to create the ultimate reuben salad!

Reuben lovers, rejoice!  This salad has your name written all over it.

One year ago: Apple & raisin scones
Two years ago: White chocolate & pecan blondies

Deconstructed Reuben Salad
-serves 2

A few notes: I kept the cabbage wedges intact and attacked the salad with a fork and knife.  However, if you prefer your salads a bit more mixed, feel free to chop the cabbage and toss it with remaining ingredients.  Different shape, same delicious taste!  And the cabbage can be served at whatever temperature you prefer.  I warmed ours so that the Swiss cheese would melt, but a cold salad would be super refreshing.  Your call!

1 slice rye bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4-5 wedges garlic roasted cabbage, cold or heated
2 slices Swiss cheese, cut into 
1/4 pound sliced corned beef
1 tomato, cut into 8 wedges
Thousand Island dressing

In a skillet over medium-low heat, toss oil with bread until cubes are evenly coated.  Stir occasionally until bread is lightly toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Arrange cabbage wedges on plate.  Divide ingredients between plates, topping cabbage with cheese, tomatoes, beef, and croutons.  Finish with Thousand Island dressing and enjoy immediately!

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