"Once again Spring is upon us. Once again there is hope for a better today. Once again it's Norouz. Once again it's time to celebrate an ancient Persian tradition of well wishes, joy, peace and love. Once again, it's time to cherish 2,570 year old tradition and share its spirit of warmer and more blessed days overcoming cold dark nights and celebrate it along with millions of people around the world."
My dear cousin Atosa, sent me this beautiful quote a couple of years ago during a very difficult time in my life. Since then, I sooth my heart with these words, tucking away darker memories and creating a new canvas using colors filled with hope, celebration, tradition, and lighter days.
That is why I love spring! It really gives me the opportunity to look forward to new beginnings, sunny days and crisp blue skies, blossoms, and of course, entertaining. Hope you enjoyed last weeks post sharing with you a little piece of my Persian Culture, Herbs, Recipes and New Year!
As you may already know from previous posts, personally I love hosting tea parties as they are simple, easy, elegant, light and happy. Our Persian New Year ceremony is all about eating and celebrating. Therefore, in addition to our traditional dishes, I also prepare finger sandwiches for my guests; they can serve themselves while I mingle and enjoy their company. Having hosted these parties for many years, there are always crowd favorites such as my vegetable napoleon sandwiches, Olivier's salad, and tomato with cucumber bites.
|Vegetable Napoleon Sandwich|
|Heirloom Tomato & Cucumber Bites|
Next week, I will share with you my recipe for vegetable sushi rolls, but today, I'm excited to share with you my Persian Cucumber and Cheese sandwiches. Similar to English cucumber sandwich, my version uses Persian cucumbers which are more delicate and fragrant along with feta cheese blended with herbs such as tarragon, basil, and chives. Elegant, delicious, easy to put together, I'm certain my guests will be delighted. Ingredients needed are: pumpernickel bread, Persian cucumber, feta, brie or cream cheese, herbs, lemon, and radish.
Using pumpernickel bread (or any bread slice of choice such challah or sourdough), cut into bite size squares or circles. Prepare two to three sandwich bites per number of guests. Purchase both large and smaller size Persian cucumbers. Slice them thin using the larger diameter cuts for the bottom layer of the sandwich and the smaller ones for the top. I prefer feta cheese which I crumble and mix with cream to create a smoother spreadable texture; however, any soft cheese will do such as cream cheese, blue, brie or goat cheese. Chop desired amount of fresh herb available such as tarragon (a little will go a long way, therefore, don't over power the cheese with it), basil, or chives. A combination of all three or just one herb will do, depending on your preference and taste. Blend in herbs with cheese. Zest one lemon and blend with herbs if you prefer; if not, feel free to omit. Lay out all bread slices; top with larger diameter cucumber slices. Using either a decorating funnel or teaspoon, place 1/2 teaspoon amount of cheese on top cucumber; top with another slice of smaller cucumber followed with a dab of cheese. Finish top with radish slices. Easy, elegant, and delicious, I promise you this Persian version of cucumber tea sandwiches will be a crowd favorite.
Wishing all of humanity peace, love, wisdom, and joy!