Egg and Garden Cress Sandwiches

Whip up a batch of delicate and flavorful garden cress sandwiches for a light lunch or proper garden party. Summery, stackable and delicious.

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”.

Okinawa Japan, 2015

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.

Okinawa Japan, 2015

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,

Shannon Vavich

Egg and Garden Cress Sandwiches

Shannon Vavich
Whip up a batch of delicate and flavorful garden cress sandwiches for a light lunch or proper garden party. Summery, stackable and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 6 hardboiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 2 bunches garden cress

Instructions
 

  • 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About

I have always loved food. I was born in Santa Cruz, California - the daughter of a commercial fisherman. Some of my earliest memories are on a fishing boat on the Pacific. I was raised on the Oregon Coast in a small town called Florence. I started working in fish markets and restaurants at the age of twelve and was always fascinated with the operations, the cooking, and the acquisition of fresh, local foods like forest mushrooms, wild blackberries, salmon and Dungeness crab. In 1996 I married my husband, a United States Marine. In 1999, inspired by my upbringing and out of an intense desire to work and create, I opened a little cake business out of my home kitchen in North Carolina. I ran that business for eleven years, all while welcoming babies into our family and moving every 1-4 years. Moving was a great opportunity for more food adventures. Now, 26 years later (because of my husband's military career), I have studied food and cooking all over the world. I began my career as a cooking teacher and recipe creator in 2009, have taught hundreds of students in in-person lessons and written hundreds of recipes. Now that my family lives in Germany, I’m devoting my time to cookbook writing, research, recipe development and video creation.