Written by our friend Rachael of La Fuji Mama
My grandmother was a German immigrant and worked in a German deli when I was younger. She is the reason why I have always loved rye bread. When I was working on my undergraduate degree, I lived about 10 minutes away from her and would occasionally wander over to her house to escape the craziness of college life and to do a load of laundry. I remember sitting on a rotating bar stool at the counter in her kitchen talking to her about life. She would always put a slice of my favorite German rye bread from her deli on a plate slathered with good butter. I loved those visits and I can’t eat rye bread without missing her.
Sauerkraut was another story. I remember my dad keeping jars of it in the refrigerator and how I had to try not to gag every time I smelled it. I’m not sure when I changed, but by the time I was a teenager, I had seen the error of my ways and had learned to love sauerkraut. When I was in my junior year of college I did a study abroad in France. After my semester finished, my family and my grandma flew out to meet me and we spent the next couple of weeks traveling all over Northern France and into my Grandma’s native southern Germany. It was Christmastime and so the Christmas markets were in full swing. I remember one market visit in particular in the city of Ulm, Germany. We stopped at one of the market stalls to buy some bratwurst and sauerkraut for dinner, grateful for the hot food which warmed our hands in the icy cold. That sauerkraut is still some of the best I’ve ever had.
Reuben Sandwich with California Avocados
Fast forward a bit and at some point I was introduced to the Reuben sandwich. What? How could I have not known about a sandwich that combined two of my food loves—rye bread and sauerkraut?
It was love at first bite. Today I’m sharing a version that includes another memory for me – da Reuben sandwich with slices of California avocado, one of my favorite foods growing up in Southern California. The creamy sweetness of the avocado slices balances out the tang of the sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. Maybe it’s all the taste memories combined in this sandwich for me, but I think that the addition of the avocado makes the classic Reuben even better.
Reuben Sandwich with California Avocados Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 13 minutes
- 8 slices dark rye bread
- 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 1 lb. thinly sliced corned beef
- 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
- 2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 oz. thinly sliced mild Swiss cheese
- Butter one side of each dark rye bread slice equal amounts of butter.
- Spread the non-buttered sides with 1 Tbsp. each of Thousand Island dressing.
- On the Thousand Island side of 4 of the bread slices, layer equal amounts of the thinly sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, avocado slices and Swiss cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered sides out.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then place the sandwiches in the pan (or as many that will fit easily), and press down lightly on them with a spatula. Cook until the bread is crisp and toasted, about 4 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and cook the second side until it is crisp and toasted and the cheese has started to melt, about 4 more minutes.
- Serve immediately! Repeat this step with any remaining sandwiches.