Our take on a classic Cucumber Sandwich includes layers of hearty spinach, vinaigrette-dressed butter lettuce, smoky roasted red peppers, and the pièce de résistance, a pistachio-infused goat cheese that will make you weak in the knees. The perfect lunch to prep early and enjoy all week long.
Green Cucumber Sandwich with Pistachio Goat Cheese
When it comes to elevated lunches, it doesn’t get much more upscale than a pinky-lifting, tea-pairing cucumber sandwich. Undoubtedly when I spy a tray of petite sandwiches simply adorned with thinly sliced cucumber and a slathering of herbed cream cheese, I find myself standing up a little straighter, and more importantly, I hear my stomach immediately crying out for a taste.
As you can obviously tell, I am a sucker for the sandwich in its simplistic state, but I’m also not one to shy away from dressing it up a little bit…or a lot. Today our version of a cucumber sandwich takes all the fundamentals and steps it up a few notches for a cucumber meets veggie sandwich sure to impress.
We swap out the herbed cream cheese for a pistachio-infused goat cheese flavored with just a hint of lemon and garlic. (It would also be a great spread for a simple cheese board.) The compound goat cheese is slathered on two slices of good-quality bread of your choice (we like hearty multi-grain), and layered between perfectly sliced pieces of cucumber, smoky roasted red pepper, spinach, and butter lettuce.
Ingredients in our Green Cucumber Sandwich
Pistachio Goat Cheese
Pistachios. You’ll want to use shelled, roasted pistachios, preferably unsalted. We use such a small amount, I like to buy the little snack packs you can find at the front of the grocery store instead of shelling out the big bucks for a large bag.
Goat cheese. Because we are going to flavor the goat cheese, you want to purchase plain goat cheese. Set it out 30 minutes or so before you begin so it loses the chill from the fridge.
Greek yogurt. To make the goat cheese a little lighter and spreadable, we also add in plain low-fat greek yogurt.
Lemon zest. We use the zest of one large lemon. Save the juice, we will use it later to dress the butter lettuce.
Garlic. I love the taste of a little bit of raw garlic peppered throughout the pistachio goat cheese, but if you don’t like that raw garlic taste, you can leave it out.
Salt. Even though the goat cheese itself is already seasoned with salt, I add a little bit more to suite my taste.
Cucumber Sandwich Components
Bread. You want to use a really good quality bread. We went with a local artisan multi-grain bread, already sliced. Other varieties that would work nicely: whole-wheat, rye, or country.
Cucumbers. It wouldn’t be a cucumber sandwich without the addition of cucumbers now would it? I like to use an English cucumber because it’s seedless and has a thinner skin that a traditional cucumber making it easier to eat on a sandwich.
Roasted red pepper. You could roast your own peppers, but we often buy them fire-roasted from the grocery store.
Lettuce. We use two different types of greens in our cucumber sandwich – spinach and butter lettuce. Spinach has a heartier texture and serves more as a vegetable layer than a lettuce layer. Butter lettuce, as the name implies has lovely buttery notes, is crisp, and pairs nicely with the goat cheese. It’s my preferred lettuce for wraps and BLTs, and pretty much any traditional sandwich.
We could simply layer it with the other ingredients, but I like to lightly dress it with a simple vinaigrette to add an extra layer of flavor in the cucumber sandwich.
Make the pistachio goat cheese. Making the pistachio goat cheese is the hardest part of building the cucumber sandwich. This says quite a bit because all you have to do is throw all the ingredients in the food process and let it go until everything is combined.
I do find it comes together quicker if you put the pistachios in the processor before adding anything else. This will help to crush the pistachios a little bit better. Once they are finely crushed, add the softened goat cheese, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until the goat cheese is whipped and the pistachios are blended.
Make sure all the other ingredients are ready to go. I opt to leave the bread as is instead of toasting it, but if you want it to have a little bit of texture and crunch, go ahead and toast it.
Dress the greens. Add a little bit of lemon juice, dijon, honey, and olive oil to the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter lettuce and gently toss in the vinaigrette.
Assemble. Slather the goat cheese on both sides of the bread. Lay down one thin layer of red pepper. Layer the cucumbers on top, followed by the spinach, and butter lettuce. Top with another piece of bread. Press down to make all the ingredients compact. Slice down the middle and serve!
Can I make this Cucumber Sandwich in advance?
Unfortunately no. What you can do is make the pistachio goat cheese in advance and the vinaigrette. This way, all you have to do is assemble which takes virtually no time at all.
Do I have to use goat cheese?
You could also use whipped feta or cream cheese.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Make sure your pistachios are fresh. Oftentimes we store nuts in the back of the pantry for years on end, and contrary to popular belief, they will go bad.
- For extra freshness, add in a handful of fresh basil to the pistachio goat cheese or layer it with the spinach and butter lettuce.
- Don’t use flimsy sandwich bread. You want something sturdy, but not overwhelming.
- A layer of sliced avocado seasoned with salt and pepper would be a nice addition.
We also love these timeless sandwiches
- You won’t find a more delicious tuna salad recipe than our version of a Tuna White Bean Salad Sandwich.
- Cucumber makes another dominant appearance in our adorable Mini Lamb Sliders with Dill Greek Yogurt.
- There is nothing I love more in this world than lobster, but when you pair it with an herby green goddess dressing and put it between bread, well life just got a lot better.
- 1/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
- 4 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- zest of 1 large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small head butter lettuce
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 8 oz whole roasted red peppers
- 1 English cucumber, sliced very thin
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 8 slices good quality whole-grain bread
- Mixing bowl
- Add pistachios to the bottom of a large or small food processor. Pulse until the pistachios are finely chopped and almost ground. Be careful you don't process them too much or they wiill start to turn to butter. Add softened goat cheese, greek yogurt, lemon zest, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Add lemon juice, dijon, honey, and olive oil to the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter lettuce and gently toss in the vinaigrette.
- Spread the goat cheese on one side of all the bread slices. Lay down one thin layer of red peppers on three of the pieces of pread. Layer cucumbers on top, followed by the spinach, and dressed butter lettuce. Top with the other piece of goat cheese slathered bread. Press down to make all the ingredients compact. If needed, secure with tooth picks. Slice down the middle and serve.