Watercress Sandwiches

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup watercress leaves, packed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
16 slices white bread
32 small watercress sprigs, PLUS extra for decoration

To make watercress butter in a food processor: blend butter, watercress leaves, lemon juice, black pepper and cayenne until the mixture is very smooth. Let the mixture stand for about 30 minutes at room temperature.

Spread each slice of bread with 1-1/2 teaspoons of the watercress butter, and cut bread into "finger" sandwiches. Arrange watercress on sandwiches, extending over the edge a little. Put bread fingers on top of each other to make sandwich.

Yield: 32 sandwiches

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana