Cucumber and watercress go so well together, we've included two ways to use them! CUCUMBER WATERCRESS RELISH The cool flavors in this relish would be great with tuna or shrimp. Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups 1/4-inch pieces unpeeled seeded English cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped watercress
  1. Stir mustard and fennel seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer to medium glass bowl.
  2. Whisk in vinegar, oil and sugar. Add cucumber and onion; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)
  3. Mix watercress into relish and serve.
CUCUMBER TEA SANDWICHES Tea sandwiches, like those you might find in a British-style teahouse, should be as petite and thin as possible. Loaves of thinly sliced sandwich bread, available at most grocery stores, are perfect for making these traditional teatime offerings. Ingredients:
  • 32 thin slices peeled English cucumber
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room
  • 8 thin slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup watercress leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup radish, onion or sunflower
 sprouts (optional)
  • Coarse salt, preferably fleur de sel, to taste
  1. Using paper towels, pat the cut surfaces of the cucumber slices to remove any excess moisture. Lightly butter one side of each bread slice. Scatter the 1/2 cup watercress leaves evenly over all of the buttered bread slices. Layer the cucumber slices over the watercress leaves on 4 of the bread slices. Top the cucumber with some of the sprouts and a pinch of salt. Top with the remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side down.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut off the crusts from each sandwich and then slice the sandwiches in half, either straight down the middle or on the diagonal. If smaller portions are desired, cut each half in half again.
  3. Arrange the sandwiches on separate plates of a tiered plate stand or on a cake stand or platter. Garnish each sandwich with a watercress leaf. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, Edited by Chuck Williams (Oxmoor House, 2004).