I grew up on deli food, and it’s usually what I crave from my omnivorous childhood. The one thing I miss the most is a Reuben sandwich, and those flavors are the inspiration for this dish. At the restaurant, we finish young carrots on the grill over wood chips for a nice infusion of smoke. But even when simply baked, as we do here, the flavors in this dish harmonize to create an Eastern European vegetable tribute to the Jewish deli. Serve with a few slices of whole-wheat bread, like the Warthog Bread from our cookbook Vedge. —Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
Montreal Steak Spice Blend
1 1/2 teaspoons
medium garlic cloves, 1 minced, 1 smashed
young or baby carrots, tops removed, leaving 1 inch of stem intact (substitute "baby-cut" carrots if necessary)
cooked chickpeas or one 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
bottled sauerkraut with 2 tablespoons of its juice
In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the steak spice blend, vinegar, ½ teaspoon of the salt, the cloves, and the minced garlic. Add the carrots and toss until combined.
Transfer the carrots to a sheet pan, cover with aluminum foil so that they will steam through, and roast until fork-tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to roast until the carrots are soft, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the carrots to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the puree, combine the chickpeas, sauerkraut and its juice, dill, mustard, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and the smashed garlic clove in a food processor. Process into a smooth, hummus-like consistency.
To serve, spread the bean puree onto a serving plate and arrange the carrots, either still warm or fully cooled, on top.
Husband-wife team Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby are the chefs/owners of Vedge and the newly opened V Street in Philadelphia.
Chef Richard Landau has been at the forefront of the vegetarian dining scene since 1994, when he opened Horizons Café in Willow Grove. His mission has been to take the carnivore palate he grew up with and use it to translate vegetarian cuisine to a broader audience. During more than five years at Horizons off South Street in Philadelphia, he continued to push the envelope of meatless cuisine. In 2009, he was invited to serve the first-ever vegan dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in Manhattan. He is proud to have helped shape the culinary landscape in Philadelphia and is excited to further raise the bar for vegetable cuisine.
Chef Kate Jacoby joined Landau in 2001 to throw her full support behind Horizons, the restaurant she had already grown to know and love as a customer. Her work on the line beside Landau helped hone her pastry skills and shaped her approach to desserts. As pastry chef, she strives to innovate vegan desserts and bring fresh ideas to rich, quality ingredients. And, as sommelier at Vedge, Kate includes the bar among her responsibilities. Her appreciation and enthusiasm for wine is evident in the lovingly selected wine list.
Landau and Jacoby are both Philadelphia natives. They spend as much of their time as possible traveling the world to find natural beauty, inspiring cultures, and exciting new foods and drinks.