Oh how we Israelis love our cucumbers.
Year round we are blessed with the perfect lovely crop, that special variety often referred to as Lebanese or Israeli or Persian cucumbers in North America. This variety is small and firm, lacking excess water or bitter skin. We eat them whole, sliced, most classically chopped along with our other national vegetable treasure, the tomato, lightly dressed with a splash of good quality olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Uniquely, cucumbers here in Israel are are regular if not expected addition to most sandwiches. An on the go grab from any bakery or cafe, classic tuna, egg, cheese and such, will likely include cucumber slices, often replacing leafy greens adding special crunch and flavor.
Working equally well as a featured ingredient and as an accent to other flavor profiles, the humble cucumber can be elevated to its highest form in easy to prepare elegant sandwich combinations ideal for a festive brunch or even a light dinner.
My lovely and talented friend and food photographer gave a definitive eyebrow raise when I told her we would be doing a cucumber sandwich shoot. From England originally she had visions of watery, tasteless unappealing sandwiches with the crust cut off. I assured her I would do everything possible to enliven this traditional high tea finger food.
Here I have prepared two such options, one using cucumbers as a featured ingredient in a unique Middle Eastern combination, the other a crunchy garnish to a more rustic filling rusk.
Get the full recipes here:
Photos by: Photoli Photography by Andrea Brownstein - www.photoli.net