Traditional cucumber sandwiches are perfect late afternoon snacks or can be a satisfying light lunch. Easy to make with just a few ingredients, make this light sandwich for your next workday lunch or for tea with your friends.
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When I first heard of cucumber sandwiches, I thought for sure there would be some lunch meat in it. Growing up, if a sandwich wasn’t a PB&J, it had meat.
As an adult I was invited to a friends house for a traditional tea party. As a fan of Downton Abbey I was quite excited to partake in this traditional ritual the British invented.
When entering the salon I spied a lovely table filled with dainty tea cups and tiered platters filled to the brim with dainty little sandwiches. I was excited to try each sandwich type. One of them was the cucumber sandwich. I was surprised by how delicious they were.
These sandwiches had cream cheese with fresh herbs and thinly sliced cucumbers. The bread was a specialty bread that was very thin. The ratio of cucumber-cheese-bread was perfect.
Over the course of the tea I was delighted to enjoy such a beautiful table setting with lovely little sandwiches. I was full of tea and and cucumber sandwiches. All of the ladies seemed to enjoy themselves.
Today I am sharing my version of this traditional cucumber sandwich. I don’t have that perfectly thin bread that my friend used but you can use any dense, thinly sliced bread. The denser the bread, the more it will hold up since it is a thin slice that is used for these dainty sandwiches.
My market has ‘Thinwich’ bread which is a thin flatbread that is used for sandwiches. It worked perfectly for me and they are easy to find. After I assembled the sandwich, I cut it in half and into quarters.
How to make cucumber sandwiches step-by-step.
There is more than one way to make a cucumber sandwich. Cucumber sandwiches can be made with or without bread. In the bread-less variation, cucumber slices become the ‘bread’ and the filling is put in between.
Below are the steps I used to make a traditional British tea sandwich.
- Add filling ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.
- Slice cucumbers very thin.
- On one side of bread, spread a thin layer of butter. On the second slice spread a medium layer of filling. Add cucumbers and place buttered layer on top. The layer of butter keeps the moisture from the cucumber from making the bread soggy.
- If using bread with crusts, cut off crusts and cut bread slices to desired size and shape. I like triangles so I usually cut mine in half from corner to corner. You can also make them even smaller by cutting them into fourths. This will make tiny squares. If using flat bread like I did today, no crust removal is necessary. Simply trim to desired shape and size.
What type of cucumber do I use?
The cucumber you choose can make the difference between a soggy or firm sandwich. Try and find cucumbers that are seedless or have little seeds. The smaller the cucumber the better. I used Persian cucumbers which have a firm flesh and little seeds. English cucumbers work well too. If you use common salad cucumbers, scoop out the seeds in the middle first. This will get rid of extra moisture.
What do you like to put in your cucumber sandwiches?
Tea Party Accessories
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