What is it about vegans and reubens? THERE ARE OTHER SANDWICHES, PEOPLE!
Well, I’m guilty of reuben love, too. I’m Jewish so I’ve got a right to be. What can be better than tangy tempeh, creamy dressing and vinegary Sauerkraut?
Queue infomerical voice over
But aren’t you tired of the mess it makes!?
Cut to a well manicured woman eating a sandwich and spilling stuff down the front of her button up blouse
The Tempeh Phyllo Reuben revolutionizes the way you eat sandwiches!
No, but seriously, I was heading to a potluck and wanted a super convenient way to transport Reuben to mouth. And the Phyllo Tempeh Reuben was born! Instead of rye bread, I threw some caraway seeds into the mix. And instead of a mayo-based thousand island, I went for a sundried tomato cashew spread that holds up to being stuffed into phyllo and baked. Of course the sauerkraut is still there holding down the fort.
As with anything you have to roll up into phyllo, this can take awhile. Especially if you’re not used to working with phyllo. But it’s a great skill to have if you like to entertain, so give it a shot. And then revolutionize the way we eat other sandwhices. Phyllo PB&J, anyone?
Note: You can definitely halve this recipe, but I figure you’d make these for a special occasion, so might as well make the whole batch. If you have too many they reheat well! Just place in tin foil and bake in the toaster oven for 5 minutes, or microwave in a paper towel for 30 seconds. These taste great at room temp, though, making them potluck perfect.
Oh and remember to thaw the phyllo the night before! It’s no fun to have everything ready and then realize that your phyllo is still frozen.
For the Sundried Tomato Cashew Spread:
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained (about 8 )
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the tempeh filling:
1 lb tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
1 1/2 cup Sauerkraut
1 lb 13×18 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
Olive oil for brushing
For the Cashew Sundried Tomato Spread:
Soak the cashew in water to get them as creamy as possible. Just place them in a bowl and cover in water for at least an hour. Drain when ready to use. It’s a good idea to do this a day in advance so that it comes together quickly when you’re ready.
Add drained cashews and sundried tomatoes to a food processor and pulse to chop everything up. Drizzle in water and puree until completely smooth. Place in fridge until ready to use. This thickens a lot as it sets.
For the tempeh:
Crumble tempeh into bite sized pieces, place in a small saute pan and add enough water to cover, plus a splash of soy sauce (about a tablespoon). Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In the meantime, saute the onion in the olive oil for about 7 minutes. Add the caraway, garlic and black pepper and saute for a minute more.
Toss in the tempeh and saute for 10 minutes or so, until nicely browned. Mash the tempeh a bit while you’re cooking it. Drizzle in the soy sauce and lemon juice, and mix well. Taste for salt.
Remove tempeh from the pan and place in a bowl. Let it cool just to the point where it has stopped steaming. Give it a toss every now and again to help speed it a long, it should be about 15 minutes.
Mix 1/2 a cup of the cashew spread into the tempeh mixture and mash it up. Taste for salt and pepper.
Ok, now we’re going to form the triangles. Now, everyone has a different way of folding phyllo. I suppose there is no wrong way, so long as you end up with a triangle shape that fully envelopes the filling. This is how I do it, but you can also look up videos on how to roll phyllo triangles for visual examples that may be more helpful than written ones. One thing though, I never use as much oil as they do in those videos. I prefer a light brushing to prevent sogginess or ripping the phyllo. On with it then!
Have a clean, dry surface with plenty of elbow room at the ready. Pour some olive oil into a small bowl and have a pastry brush handy. Also needed are the tempeh mix and the sauerkraut and have a large baking sheet brushed with olive oil nearby. Unwrap phyllo dough and lay it out flat. Slice the stack in half widthwise (across the waist.) A pizza cutter works great for this!
Now we’re going to layer 3 sheets. Carefully place one sheet in front of you lengthwise. Brush with a little oil and layer another piece of phyllo on top. Brush with oil and layer one last phyllo sheet and brush with oil.
Place 1/4 cup tempeh filling in the lower right side of the dough (figure 1).
Place a dollop of the cashew spread on the tempeh (about 2 teaspoons), and a big spoonful of sauerkraut on top (about 2 tablespoons).
Then fold the left side over the filling so that you have a long rectangle (figure 2). Brush lightly with olive oil. Now begin folding the triangles.
Fold the lower left corner up to form a triangle (figure 3). Now fold over two more times, until you have a triangle. Tuck any extra dough under the triangle. Place on baking sheet and brush with a little more olive oil.
When you think you’re pretty close to finishing all of the traingles, preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bake triangles for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Flip over and bake for 12 to 15 more minutes. They should be varying shades of golden brown.
They taste great just out of the oven or at room temp!