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Open-Faced Reuben Sandwiches

  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST

Chef Way A classic Reuben features corned beef and cheese topped with sauerkraut and dripping with Russian dressing. In his restaurant riff, David Burke serves a pastrami-spiced steak with homemade sauerkraut and a baked potato.

Easy Way Burke creates a Reubenesque sandwich but omits the Russian dressing and skips the sauerkraut in favor of a much lighter, fresher and faster cabbage slaw. Served open-faced, it's a fabulous "knife-and-fork sandwich," as he calls it.

  1. 1/2 small head of green cabbage, cored and finely shredded (3 cups)
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  5. 1/4 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  6. 1/4 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  7. 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  8. 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  9. 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  10. 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  11. Freshly ground pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  13. Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of pastrami (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  14. 4 slices rye bread
  15. 1/4 pound sliced Swiss cheese
  1. In a large bowl, toss the shredded cabbage with the salt and sugar. Using your hands, crush and squeeze the cabbage to release the liquid. Let the cabbage stand for 10 minutes, crushing and squeezing until very soupy. Transfer the cabbage to a colander. Rinse briefly with cold water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible; you should have about 1 cup of cabbage. Transfer the cabbage to a medium bowl and add the vinegar, red and yellow peppers, onion, scallions, poppy seeds and 1/2 tablespoon of the mustard. Season the slaw with pepper.
  2. Preheat a broiler. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Brush the pastrami slices with the mustard-oil mixture and the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and toast under the broiler, turning, until golden, about 3 minutes. Top the toasted bread with the Swiss cheese and the pastrami. Broil just until the cheese is melted and the pastrami is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the open-face sandwiches to plates, garnish with the cabbage slaw and serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Berry-filled, lively Grenache.