I have not been able to get these sandwiches out of my head! Rebecca from our Austen in Boston book club makes some awesome sandwiches, but these are my favorite, hands down. Rebecca calls them “Austen in Boston” English Cucumber Tea Sandwiches. We enjoyed them at our last picnic, and they are so good with a cup of tea — with cream and sugar, of course.
Cucumber sandwiches are simple, but these get some complexity from herbs and good-quality bread. Rebecca uses Ezekiel Bran for Life bread, but my store didn’t have any so I went with Nature’s Pride Nutty Oat (strangely, the packaging says it has a nutty flavor but no nuts, and it’s 100% natural). Even Joe loved the nutty oat, and he isn’t always keen on the 12-grain-type breads I bring home. Plus I think ordinary white bread is too bland for something as mild as cucumber.
Rebecca also uses organic cream cheese, nothing artificial. I went with neufchatel cheese, which tastes just like cream cheese but has a third less fat. Philadelphia makes one. I went with the English seedless cucumber she recommended — it has less water and seeds than regular cucumber — as well as the dill. Rebecca recommends dried chives as an alternative and says they’re better than fresh. I used both dill and fresh chives, since I have chives growing in my garden and personally love them fresh.
These few ingredients make up a sandwich both delicate for tea and snacking, but hearty enough to fill you up, to my surprise. Now, I once made cucumber sandwiches on this blog way back when, but in retrospect I didn’t have a great formula. You need the right ratio of cucumber slices to cream cheese to bread, and this recipe has it. I foresee many chilly afternoons with these babies and a hot pot of tea.