Miri Rotkovitz’s new cookbook, Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen, is a great addition to my now growing Jewish cookbook collection.
Miri, a food writer and the kosher food expert at About.com, spent a good portion of her early years in the kitchen with her grandmother, and it left her with a lasting impression of Jewish food. Through that lens, this touching, humorous and versatile cookbook celebrates the storied and flavorful kosher recipes that characterize and continue to reinvent Jewish food culture.
“My grandmother’s recipes,” Miri states in the book’s introduction, “and the new ones they’ve inspired are a thread between past and future and a part of the tapestry we continue to weave as a family.”
Roasted Beet Reuben
from Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen by Miri Rotkovitz
From Miri: I’m not sure how I went from being a despiser of beets to the sort of person who will put them on a sandwich. Maybe I’m turning into my grandmother. If a beet sandwich strikes you as weird, consider that when I first hit on this combo, I actually baked rye bread every few days for 2 weeks straight, just so I could eat it for lunch nearly every day.
2 small beets, greens removed and trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice Pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
4 slices Homemade Seeded Rye Bread or store bought
2 to 4 slices Swiss cheese
½ cup sauerkraut, drained
1 small apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rub the beets with a little olive oil, wrap in foil, and place in a baking pan. Slide into the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and slice into ¼-inch rounds. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and refrigerate.
To assemble the sandwiches: Spread 2 slices of rye bread with the mayonnaise spread. Top with Swiss cheese, ¼ cup sauerkraut, a layer of apple slices, and a layer of beet slices. Top with a second slice of bread, spread with more ginger mayonnaise if you’d like. Repeat with the second sandwich.
In a cast iron or other heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts and begins to foam, carefully add the sandwiches, cheese side closest to the pan. Press down with the back of a flat spatula. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the cheese melts, the sandwich is warmed through, and the bread is toasty and golden brown.