Demystify that classic red sauce- make your own Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, and you’re well on your way to a Vegetarian Roasted Zucchini Reuben.
I walked into our neighborhood coffeeshop, took one look at the sandwich case and looked back at the Urban Farmer. He began to pump his fist wildly, headbanging and scrunching up his face in a “helllll yessss” expression. His exaggerated physical movements filled up the entire entrance. For a moment, the fulfillment of seeing a reuben, after so many failed attempts, overshadowed the fact that we were in public, or maybe not. Maybe he’s just that weird. Maybe we don’t get out enough? Maybe we just really like reubens. Let’s stick with that last one, shall we?
We pull our weight when it comes to putting a dent in the coffeeshop’s sandwich cooler, but every once in a while, I buy a loaf of marble rye and experiment with new ways to eat reubens (i.e.: new forms of sacrilege). This led to the Vegetarian/Vegan Sweet Potato Reuben, a simple yet worthwhile pursuit. To further our reuben journey, the next logical step was to make that magical/mysterious red sauce: Homemade Thousand Island Dressing.
Thousand Island Dressing is one of those sauces I associate with a Kraft bottle, a long list of mysterious ingredients, a name that indicates nothing about its long list of mysterious ingredients and an unnatural sweetness, but homemade is another story. With homemade thousand island dressing, you can justify the comforts of the 80s and 90s (much like eating my healthified Ramen Noodle Salad).
As it turns out, homemade thousand island dressing is essentially a condiment soup- a combination of ingredients you probably have on hand, or, if you really want to impress, a combination of condiments you can make (homemade ketchup and homemade mayo).
Since our reuben sandwich craving hit at the height of the zucchini harvest, i.e.: the time of year when gardeners try to bestow MOUNDS of zucchini on anyone, willing or not, roasted zucchini rings take center stage in this sandwich. Roast a sheet pan’s worth, and you’ll have enough for several sandwiches or to serve as a healthy side with dinner.
So whip up some dressing, roast some zucchinis, pile up a sandwich and go on a picnic (like this one). It’s time to enjoy the last sunny days of summer.
Roasted Zucchini Reubens with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
About this Recipe: Making thousand island dressing with good quality ingredients and less sweeteners makes for a healthier Reuben, especially a veggie-forward version. The zucchini is roasted with smoky herbs for a heartier bite. Make several sandwiches, or serve the zucchini with other dishes.
Roasted Zucchini Reubens (Vegetarian)
Assemble the following to your taste:
Marble Rye Bread
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
Herb Roasted Zucchini
Organic Swiss Cheese (Optional)
Smoky Herb Roasted Zucchini (Vegan/Vegetarian)
Yield: 1 sheet pan of roasted zucchini
3 medium zucchinis, sliced in thick rings
Avocado oil or safflower oil
Smoked sea salt
Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a baking sheet with oil.
Arrange the zucchini slices evenly across the baking sheet. Brush with oil. Sprinkled with salt, pepper, turmeric, harissa and turmeric.
Bake for 30 minutes, until browned and tender.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
recipe adapted from Kitchen Treaty
Yield: ~3/4 cup
1/2 cup organic mayonnaise (such as Sir Kensington’s or try homemade)
2 Tablespoons organic ketchup (such as Sir Kensington’s or try homemade)
2 Tablespoons organic sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons finely diced red onion
1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about half of a small clove)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon smoke sea salt, to taste
2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Taste, and add additional salt if desired.
Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve. Store remaining dressing in the refrigerator.