Thursday, 29 April 2010

Victorian Watercress Tea Sandwiches

I happened upon some fresh watercress from the local farm shop - crisp, green and peppery, I could hardly wait to get it home to undress it from its brown paper bag! Soup I thought, no, not this time...........I wanted something simple, elegant and yet filling. I decided to make some sandwiches, classic Victorian style sandwiches which were the mainstay for most country children, a cheap and cheerful luncheon in those days as the watercress would have been freely available to pick from babbling brooks and local streams. All that was needed to complete my Victorian watercress lunch, was fresh wholemeal bread, freshly churned local butter and a cuppa!

Here is the recipe for your lazy luncheon requirements:

Victorian Watercress Tea Sandwiches for High Tea and Picnics

During Victorian times, children used to take watercress sandwiches to school in place of meat ones. I love them, especially when cut into small trianges and served with a cuppa. Use the freshest bread - I like to use wholemeal, and a fresh salted farmhouse butter. I have inlcluded a soup idea at the end of the recipe, to be made with the excess stalks! So a soup and sandwich recipe then!

SERVES 4: 8 Rounds of Sandwiches

2 bunches watercress
softened butter
16 thin slices bread
sea salt and black pepper

1. Snip the stalks from the watercress and place the leafy ends on kitchen paper to absorb any water. Butter the bread generously, arrange the watercress over 4 slices and season. Top with the remaining bread, cut into triangles or fingers and serve.
2. Don't discard the watercress stalks; they can be made into a soup. Soften a chopped onion in a pan with butter, add 250ml whole milk and bring to the boil. Add the stalks, cook for 1 minute then liquidise until smooth and foamy.


  1. Wonderful to read such a well put together chat about Mayday.... steeped in Tradition until Oliver Cromwell came along!

    Thanks so much, I will be back!

  2. Thanks Joy! It is a JOY having you here!


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