There is nothing that screams teatime sophistication more than little cucumber sandwiches. Traditionally, tea sandwiches are made with fluffy white bread and their crusts are removed. For the bridal shower, I opted to use a whole grain bread and keep the crusts intact, complete with their oat lined goodness. The rich butter with a strong kick of garlic combined with the cool spiced cucumbers were a perfect blend for the hot Houston afternoon. I can’t wait to try new combinations of these little sandwiches: maybe olive tapenade on focaccia or apple and brie on french bread or tomato with a sharp cheddar and marinated red bell pepper? Or what about a dessert tea sandwich? The possibilities are endless.
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced very thinly (I used my mother’s homegrown Armenian cucumbers and eyeballed the number I needed)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pepper to taste
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
4 fresh garlic cloves minced
Lightly salt the cucumber slices and place them aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Add the cucumber slices, coating them well, and let them sit in the mixture for several hours. I let mine marinate in the fridge overnight so that I could quickly put my sandwiches together the morning of the shower.
Combine the butter and the garlic and whip them together until they are well blended. Spread the garlic butter mixture on one side of each slice of bread.
Arrange the cucumber slices on half of the bread slices and top with the other half of the slices. Slice them into quarters or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Serve.
Depending on how many cucumbers you put in each sandwich and how much garlic butter you spread you can get anywhere from 30-40 sandwiches. I ended up with around 30 sandwiches.