In many circles tea has gained the reputation as a lighter, more delicate alternative to the more robust, acquired taste of coffee. While lighter teas such as fruity white teas and soothing chamomiles do exist, there are also many full-bodied teas that stand their own, and present rich, bold flavors that differ greatly from sleepy time brews.
When hosting a tea tasting you’ll want to offer a wide variety teas to round out your menu, but in doing so finding the perfect party snack or dish can prove to be difficult, when trying to compliment a range of strengths and flavors.
Enter the tea sandwich, a light, airy, and refreshing finger food, which seems to cleanse the palate and complete teatime with its crust-free whimsy. Stick to traditions with a simple butter-cucumber sandwich or get creative with your pairings, but remember who is the real star of this midday celebration, the tea!
This light, creamy take on the traditional English tea sandwich offers just the tiniest bit of flavor so not to overwhelm guests who should be focusing their taste buds on the plethora of delicious teas you have prepared. Here we substitute butter with whipped cream cheese for a lighter, fluffier sandwich with the same creamy taste and texture that have made these bite-sized stacks a teatime staple for centuries.
8 to 10 slices white bread
4 ounces whipped cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 English cucumber
4 small red radishes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh sprigs watercress, for garnish
Begin by peeling your cucumber using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, alternate between peeling, so that strips of green remain around the cucumber’s perimeter. Using a sharp knife or mandolin cut cucumber into wafer thin slices.
In a colander toss cucumber slices in salt and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until excess juices have drained. Add white wine vinegar and toss gently using your hands or a slotted spoon until well coated, set aside.
Cut the tops and bottoms off radishes and discard, using a sharp knife or mandolin cut them into thin slices, set aside.
Once cream cheese has softened a bit spread a thin, even layer onto two slices of bread. To construct sandwich place cucumber and radish slices in a single layer on one piece of bread and top with another piece.
Using a knife cut the crust off of the sandwich and throw away. Cut sandwich in half diagonally or using simple cookie or biscuit cutters cut the sandwich into small bite-sized shapes. Top each mini sandwich with a sprig or two of watercress. Serve immediately or chill in fridge for up to six hours.