Cucumber sandwiches


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The cucumber sandwich is an afternoon tea regular for good reasons; it’s light, refreshing and crucially, not too filling, meaning you’ve got plenty of room left for the other savouries and cakes to follow. Also, what could be more British?

The key to success with these is to make sure the bread is very evenly and thinly cut, the butter is room temperature so it spreads easily, and the cucumbers have been peeled and salted. The last step is particularly crucial – no-one wants to eat a soggy sandwich. Similarly, they must be eaten as fresh as possible, so serve them immediately.




  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled
  • 6 slices of white bread, thinly sliced
  • butter, at room temperature
  • sea salt, fine
  • white pepper, or very finely ground black pepper
Slice the cucumber very thinly. Place the slices in a colander or sieve and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Mix together (gently), and allow to drain for half an hour
Butter each slice of bread generously. Layer half the slices of bread with cucumber pieces, and sprinkle a little pepper on top. Close the sandwiches and remove the crusts. Cut into fingers and serve immediately
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