Spiced Little Carrots with Chickpea-Sauerkraut Puree
Credit: Michael Spain-Smith

The Reuben sandwich is the one thing Landau misses most from his omnivorous childhood. This ingenious alternative is a nod to the Reuben's flavors while adding an Eastern European element. "At the restaurant, we put the carrots over wood chips on the grill for an infusion of smoke," he says. The oven serves nicely at home.

Spiced Little Carrots with Chickpea-Sauerkraut Puree
(Serves 6 to 8)

• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice Blend (see below)
• 2 tsp sherry vinegar
• 1 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp ground cloves
• 2 medium garlic cloves, 1 minced and 1 smashed
• 2 lb young carrots, tops removed, leaving 1 inch of stem intact (or substitute baby carrots)
• 2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 3/4 cup bottled sauerkraut with 2 tbsp of its juice
• 2 tbsp minced fresh dill
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Step one
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Step two
In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tbsp of the olive oil, the steak spice blend, vinegar, 1/2 tsp of the salt, the cloves, and the minced garlic. Add the carrots and toss until combined.

Step three
Transfer the carrots to a sheet pan, cover with aluminum foil so they 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.

Step four
Meanwhile, to make the puree, combine the chickpeas, sauerkraut and its juice, dill, mustard, pepper, remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, remaining 1 tsp salt, and the smashed garlic clove in a food processor. Process into a smooth, hummus-like consistency.

Step five
To serve, spread the bean puree onto a serving plate and arrange the carrots, either still warm or fully cooled, on top.

Montreal Steak Spice Blend
• 2 tbsp each coarse sea salt and black peppercorns
• 1 tsp each caraway seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seed, and celery seeds

One at a time, grind each spice (except the celery seeds) in a clean coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle to achieve a uniform consistency. Mix together, adding in the celery seeds.