Cucumber-Watercress Sandwiches with Herb Butters

Serves

Dainty triangles of crustless bread sandwiched with thin slices of cucumber, a shower of watercress and a smear of flavorful herb butter make a lovely luncheon offering or accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Our quartet of herb butters are a snap to prepare and make an interesting assortment of tea sandwiches, each with a deliciously distinctive flavor.

This recipe makes about 32 small finger sandwiches, which can serve 4 to 8 people, depending on the rest of the menu.


Ingredients

1 1/2   (12 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons finely snipped chives
  grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon finally chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finally chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped dill
16 slices firm white sandwich bread (crusts removed)
1 large English cucumber (peeling optional) (thinly sliced)
1 cup watercress leave


Directions

Divide the butter into 4 pieces of 3 tablespoons each. Mash 1 of the butter pieces with the chives and add a pinch of lemon zest. Set aside.

Mash another of the butter pieces with the mint and set aside.

Mash the third piece of butter with the tarragon and set aside.

Mash the remaining butter with the dill and add a pinch of lemon zest. Set aside.

Butter 1 side of 4 pieces of bread with the chive butter. Butter 4 more slices with the mint butter, then 4 slices with the tarragon butter, and the remaining 4 slices with the dill butter. You should end up with 4 pieces of buttered bread for each kind of herb butter.

Arrange a single layer of cucumber slices on top of the buttered sides of the bread, overlapping slightly if necessary. Place a layer of watercress leaves on top of the cucumbers, then cover with the remaining bread slices, matching the herb butters.

With a serrated knife, cut each sandwich in half diagonally to create 2 equal-sized triangles. Cut each triangle in half to yield 4 smaller triangles per sandwich. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve at room temperature for the best flavor and texture.

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