Watercress Sandwiches Recipe for Afternoon Tea

The traditional watercress sandwich is an elegant and delicious offering for your afternoon tea. This recipe makes 24 finger sandwiches. Eating just one will make you classy.


  • 1 cup watercress leaves
  • 8 slices Pullman style bread, thinly sliced - dense sourdough bread baked in a square pan with a lid to produce square slices with minimal crust. If your bread is presliced a little too thick you can cheat by gently rolling the slices with a rolling pin to make them thinner.
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted real butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar


Cut off the stems off the watercress leaves with a knife or scissor; either discard or save the stems for making soup. Place the watercress leaves into a colander. Rinse thoroughly with cool water, tossing the watercress with your hands. Fill a large bowl with a solution of 2 tablespoons white vinegar per 2 quarts of cool water. Place the watercress leaves in the water and let soak for 30 minutes. This will remove any dirty smell or taste from the watercress. Pour the watercress into the colander. Rinse thoroughly once more with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.

In a medium bowl, toss the cleaned and dried watercress leaves with the salt.

Spread one side of each piece of bread with the butter.

Top four of the slices each with 1/4 cup watercress leaves. Arrange the watercress so it hangs very slightly over the edge of the bread. Top with the remaining four bread slices.

Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a long, sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again

Serve with a good selection of hot teas and a thorough understanding of royal titles.