The Best Cucumber Sandwich


The only reason you think cucumber sandwiches are boring is because you haven't had one that is made right, says chef Vishwesh Bhatt. Benedictine, a creamy spread of cucumber and herbs; along with a spicy and herbaceous peanut pesto with serrano chile, cilantro, and citrus; and chaat masala add verve to these sandwiches. And after layering in the crisp cucumbers, spicy chile slices, and juicy tomatoes, take a bite. "Once you serve this one, it's going to become a fixture at your summer parties," Bhatt says.

The Best Cucumber Sandwich
Photo: Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


Benedictine Spread

  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese

  • 2 (4-ounce) bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (leaves and tender stems only) (about 2 1/4 cups)

  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 1 medium-size fresh jalapeño (about 1 ounce), seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Peanut Pesto

  • 2 (4-ounce) bunches fresh cilantro, chopped (leaves and tender stems only) (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1 ½ cups raw peanuts

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)

  • 3 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 small fresh serrano chile, seeded and chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Additional ingredients

  • 8 (1 1/2-ounce) white bread slices (crusts removed, if desired)

  • 24 (1/4-inch-thick) cucumber slices (from 2 [3-ounce] cucumbers)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • ½ teaspoon  kosher salt

  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) plum tomato slices (from 2 [3-ounce] plum tomatoes)

  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala (such as MDH)

  • 1 small fresh serrano chile (about 1/2 ounce), seeded and finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • Potato chips, for serving (optional)


Make the benedictine spread:

  1. Place cucumbers in a colander set over a bowl or sink, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss together using your hands to fully coat cucumbers in salt; let drain 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together cream cheese, mascarpone, parsley, onion, jalapeño, and dill in a medium bowl; set aside until ready to use.

  2. 2. Fold drained cucumber, black pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt into cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up 12 hours.

Make the peanut pesto:

  1. Combine cilantro, peanuts, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, serrano, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse until well blended and smooth, about 10 pulses, adding water 2 teaspoons at a time if needed to help process. (Alternatively, place in a mortar, and pound using a pestle, scraping down sides as you go until you have a smooth paste. Once smooth, thin the pesto with a bit of water if you prefer a thinner consistency.)

Assemble the sandwiches:

  1. Make 2 rows of 4 bread slices each on a clean work surface or cutting board. On the bottom row, spread about 1/4 cup benedictine spread on each slice. On the top row, spread about 2 tablespoons peanut pesto on each slice. Toss together cucumber slices, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl; arrange evenly on bread slices on bottom row. Top bread slices on bottom row evenly with tomato slices, and sprinkle evenly with chaat masala and serrano. Sandwich the two topped bread slices together. If desired, cut sandwiches into halves or quarters, and serve with chips.


Add fresh radishes and thinly sliced beets to these sandwiches in the springtime.

Make Ahead

Benedictine spread and peanut pesto can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Fruity, lightly herbal Prosecco: NV Bisol Jeio Prosecco Superiore.

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