On outdoor tables and bright kitchen counters all over the UK this time of year, you will find all kinds of smallish, crustless, cut-to-triangle sandwiches.
One of my favorites is the “Egg and Cress”, or more accurately, “Egg and Garden Cress”.
When we moved to Germany three years ago, I was thrilled to find little punnets of garden cress in the markets. Here in Germany it’s called “kressen” and it’s used in salads, dips, and added to “Frischkäse”.
Incidentally, I’ve found that Frischkäse (fresh cheese) is a great vehicle for all kinds of lovely smallish greens, like chives and “Bärlauch” – also known as wild garlic. Wild garlic is a flat, green leaf that is only in season in the spring. So *sigh* I must wait to cook with it.
But, back to Garden Cress:
Let’s take a peek into my journal and learn a little about Garden Cress:
Garden Cress (Lepiduim Sativum) is a small, peppery annual or biennial plant. It falls into the category of “microgreen” because of its tiny leaves and fast rate of growth. Both the leaves and stems are edible, and it grows both in a green variety and a red/purple variety. Garden Cress grows well using hydroponic methods, but roots in soil; unlike its older cousin Watercress.
Despite their greeniness and “cressiness”, Garden Cress and Watercress are different species – however, both in the family of Brassicaceae. Other plants in the Brassicaceae family include crucifers like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and mustard.
So, think “peppery”.
Garden cress is much smaller than watercress.
I used to buy big bunches of watercress in Okinawa, Japan. It was so fabulous.
Here is a photo of some watercress I found one day. Notice this plant is much bigger than Garden Cress. Also, Watercress roots in water. So that’s a good way to remember the difference between the “cresses”.
I used to make the most delicious Watercress soup when we lived in Okinawa. I haven’t found any good amount of Watercress since, which is a crying shame because I crave this soup all the time.
One good substitute to Watercress would be the Bärlauch (Allium ursinum) or “Wild Garlic” I spoke of previously. Making a soup like this out of Wild Garlic will definitely be on my list of priorities next spring. Hopefully I will also find a good source of Watercress, and I’ll make both!
Anyway, back to the egg sandwiches. I used to make these all the time when we lived in England.
I started making these again after we moved here to Germany in 2019 and discovered “Kressen” in the markets. Making a good “egg and cress” was the only way I knew how to use Kressen at the time. Making these little sandwiches again after all those years was like seeing an old friend.
To make these flavorful, sophisticated little sandwiches, you’re going to need to find a good, fluffy white bread. 8 pieces for about 6 eggs. Cut the crusts off the bread before you make the sandwiches. If you want, you can save the crusts and make seasoned breadcrumbs with them. That’s what I do. Recipe here: Seasoned Breadcrumbs
Butter each piece of bread with a good, salted butter.
Chop up six boiled eggs.
Mix in about 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and add a little salt and pepper.
Layer each piece of bread with egg mixture, then a bunch of cress. Cut each sandwich in half, along the diagonal.
It’s creamy and peppery and stackable and delicious.
Especially good served at a proper British tea party, alongside a thick slice of Victoria Sponge Cake.
Thanks so much for being here,
Egg and Garden Cress Sandwiches
- 6 hardboiled eggs
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 8 slices white bread
- 3 tablespoons butter softened
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- 2 bunches garden cress
- Peel and chop the boiled eggs.
- Slice the crusts off the bread.
- Put all the chopped egg pieces in a medium bowl.
- Mix the egg pieces with mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
- Line each bread piece with butter.
- Fill each sandwich with egg mix, and a layer of garden cress.
- Slice each square into two triangles.
- Serve immediately. You can also store in the refrigerator (covered) for 1-2 days.