Cucumber sandwiches

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What tea party (Mad Hatter’s or otherwise) would be complete without this quintessential recipe? The key to the perfect cucumber sandwich recipe is to allow time for salting the cucumber slices, to avoid soggy bread and bring out the flavour of the cucumber. Stay cool as a cucumber by pairing these sandwiches with peppermint tea.

First published in 2015
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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.





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
First published in 2015

Helen Graves is Head of Content at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking.

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