The first time I heard of cucumber sandwiches, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to eat one. Sliced cucumbers are good, but I just didn’t understand the appeal of a cucumber sandwich. Then, I tasted one. It was a delightful and delicious sandwich, and I decided that I needed to learn how to make them.
The problem with learning how to make cucumber sandwiches is that everyone has very strong opinions about the correct method. Some recommend cream cheese seasoned with garlic and herbs, Others stop just short of calling those who use cream cheese blasphemers. They insist that the perfect cucumber sandwich contains only salted cucumber and butter. I decided that the best solution was to take a middle of the road approach with my creation.
The cucumbers in the photo look wilted because they are. All recipes recommend salting the cucumbers and letting a good deal of their liquid leach out, and squeezing, or patting them dry with paper towels before placing them between two buttered slices of bread. This process helps to prevent the cucumbers from making your bread soggy. I used a mixture of garlic salt and kosher salt on the cucumbers. After they had been drained and pressed, I arranged them on top of a layer of buttered bread. A sprinkling of white pepper to taste is a good addition to the sandwich. (In the photo, you can see that I used black pepper by mistake. It doesn’t affect the flavor, but they aren’t as pretty with black specks on top of them.) I opted to serve my cucumber sandwiches open faced, but you can also serve them nestled between two slices of bread. I wasn’t trying to be fancy with the open faced presentation. I was just running out of bread.
Once your sandwiches are assembled, cut off the crusts and cut them into small squares, triangles, or fingers. You can also eschew propriety, and just eat the whole sandwich, crust and all, while standing in the kitchen. I may, or may not, know someone who has done this. If you choose to be more civilized, arrange your cut sandwiches on a plate and allow your guests to serve themselves on small plates.
Here’s your printable recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I believe that cucumber sandwiches would be a great thing to serve alongside some egg salad finger sandwiches and some scones at a Mother’s Day tea party.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry
- 4-8 slices of bread (4 if you're making your sandwiches open faced)
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ to ½ cup softened unsalted butter (You will need the smaller amount for open faced sandwiches)
- White pepper, to taste
- Mix together salt and garlic salt.
- Arrange cucumbers in layers in a colander that is positioned over a bowl.
- Sprinkle salt and garlic salt mixture between each layer of cucumber.
- Allow cucumbers to sit for at least 10-20 minutes.
- Press cucumbers to release liquid between layers of paper or cotton towels.
- Spread bread liberally with softened butter.
- Arrange cucumber slices, overlapping them, on top of the butter.
- Sprinkle white pepper, to taste, on top of the cucumber.
- If desired, top with another buttered slice of bread.
- Cut crusts from bread and cut into squares, triangles, or fingers as desired.
- Serve immediately.