How have I gone this long without knowing about Benedictine Sandwiches? A popular and hardworking volunteer in my town called the office the other day for help with her latest project. We share a fondness for antiques and teatime, and before the conversation ended she happened to mention she is from Louisville, Kentucky where she said Benectine Sandwiches are popular. Attributed to a local caterer named Jennie Benedict, these legendary sandwiches are made with cream cheese, grated cucumber and a few other ingredients. I'm still amazed I'd never heard of them!
The sandwiches are super easy to make, and the pretty pistachio green color you see between the slices of bread comes from the single drop of green food coloring you add. I don't have a plain 2-inch round cutter, so I just used a glass. Cutting the bread this way made the soundwich rounds sort of puffy looking, and I liked that because the finished sandwich reminds me of a Moon Pie!
I'd never grated cucumber before, and sure enough it added a nice bit of texture and made for a different cucumber sandwich experience. Since our garden is brimming with cucumbers at the moment, this was a great recipe for me to try this week, and here's how I made it, based on a Kentucky cookbook's recipe I found online.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoons grated cucumber, drained on a paper towel
1 teaspoon chopped onion
1 drop of green food coloring
Mix all ingredients well, making sure the food coloring is evenly distributed. Yields filling for about ten 2-inch round sandwiches and can also be used as a dip.
I was curious if my tea friend Linda in Kentucky had ever mentioned Benedictine Sandwiches on her blog, and of course this proud Kentuckian had! In fact, her recipe is here, and because it calls for more cucumber (and I really love cucumber), I'll have to give it a try as well. I was intrigued to find that lots of her teatimes have included Benedictine Sandwiches, so I've apparently read the name but never questioned what that sandwich was. Clearly I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I certainly will from now on. Are there any more "regional" tea sandwiches I need to know about? Help me out here, friends!