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The Cucumber Sandwich | A Traditional Cucumber Recipe

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.

A cucumber sandwich.

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.

My parents only bought cucumbers to put in a salad. The regular kind of house salad, not like the Chana Chaat Salad with chickpeas or Polish Cucumber Salad.

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.

  1. Add filling ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.
  2. Slice cucumbers very thin.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Sandwich ingredients.
Slicing cucumber with a vegetable peeler.
Cream cheese on bread.

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A stack of cucumber sandwiches.
A stack of cucumber sandwiches.

The Cucumber Sandwich | A Traditional Cucumber Recipe

Yield: 4 large or 16 small
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

The cucumber sandwich is a traditional tea time finger sandwich that is hearty enough to satisfy an appetite in between meals.  This dainty little sandwich originated in Great Britain and was made popular during the Edwardian era.  Enjoy these little sandwiches as appetizers or snacks to carry you over until dinner without making you feel too full.  A perfect way to used up extra cucumbers too.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz block of cream cheese
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 small cucumbers (or 1 English), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 slices of thin bread, crustless
  • 1 Tbs salted butter

Instructions

  1. Mix first five ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Spread a thin layer of butter on four of the slices of bread.
  3. On the other four slices spread the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Place the thinly sliced cucumber on the cream cheese.
  5. Top with the buttered slices and cut to desired size.

Notes

  • Use small cucumbers or seedless or English.
  • Spread the butter and cream cheese to the very edge of the sandwich.
  • Enjoy as one whole sized sandwich or cut into dainty little tea sandwiches.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 small sandwiches
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Bianca

Saturday 27th of April 2019

These little sandwiches are amazing and so easy to make. They kept well and so I took them to work. I really like how they don't make me feel over stuffed. Definitely my go to take-to-work lunch. Maybe I'll grow some cucumbers this year.

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