Enjoy this classic American without the meat!
Mix together the water, soy sauce, spices and beetroot powder to make the marinade for the aubergine.
Place the aubergine into a shallow dish and pour over the marinade: make sure all of the slices are submerged so that they go a lovely shade of bright pink and soak up all of the flavour.
Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
While the aubergine is marinating, make the Russian dressing by mixing the ingredients together.
One the 30 minutes is up, place a griddle pan over a medium heat and brush lightly with a little oil.
Once the pan is hot, griddle the aubergine slices for 3 minutes either side or until they are cooked through (see note 1).
In the meantime, toast the two slices of rye bread.
To assemble the sandwich, slather both slices of bread with Russian dressing, next layer over the slices of aubergine fresh out of the pan followed by the sauerkraut and then the Swiss cheese.
Before topping the sandwich with the second slice of bread, place the sandwich under a grill for 2 minutes or until the Swiss cheese has melted.
Top with the final slice of bread and serve immediately.
The aubergine should be sliced roughly the same thickness as deli-cut meats. This means that it will cook really quickly in the griddle pan. You will get a little bit of bite from the skin of the aubergine but otherwise it will melt in your mouth like soft, slow cooked beef.