A Vegan Afternoon Tea
When I studied abroad in London I was fortunate enough to enjoy several afternoon teas. I love sweets, I love sandwiches, and I actually prefer tea to coffee, so a classic tea is a little piece of heaven for me. I know that my love of this tasty ritual informed my menu of baked goods for C’est La V Bakeshop, and I’ve always felt that they’d be right at home next to some dainty sandwiches and pots of tea.
I was just starting to test some tea sandwich recipes when Jackie Horrick, owner of Alternative Outfitters, contacted me about catering a vegan afternoon tea for her birthday. Her back yard was the perfect setting for a relaxing tea service, and it made for a really fun afternoon. I wrote a Food Feature for VegNews about the tea, and the whole thing was such a huge success that I’ve decided to expand C’est La V’s menu to include catering for tea parties!
If you’re outside of the Los Angeles area and you want to throw your own vegan afternoon tea, you can have C’est La V baked goods shipped right to your front door. For tea sandwiches, try a meatless chicken salad, chickpea salad or radish and “butter” with gray salt. You can even buck tradition and do mini TLTs (tempeh “bacon”, lettuce and tomato). This recipe for Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Herbed “Cream Cheese” is also a great place to start!
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Herbed “Cream Cheese”
If you’re making these ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator covered with wax paper and a damp paper towel to prevent the bread from drying out.
1 medium to large organic cucumber
8 oz. tub of tofutti cream cheese (or your favorite brand), at room temperature
1 tablespoon minced organice chives
1 tablespoon minced organic tarragon
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 loaf organic white spelt bread
about 2 teaspoons Maldon sea salt
Peel the cucumber and slice it into paper thin discs. Combine the “cream cheese”, minced herbs and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
To make the sandwiches, cut the crusts off of the bread and lay the slices out on a cutting board. Spread both sides with a layer of the herbed “cream cheese”, and arrange a layer of cucumber disc on one side of bread. Sprinkle some of the Maldon salt over the cucumber slices and top with the other piece of bread. Cut the bread in half on a diagonal, and then cut each piece in half again, forming 4 small triangles.