Monday, May 19, 2014

Pumpernickel sandwiches with herb cream cheese and edible flowers

I first created these cute sandwiches about 20 years ago in Japan, the lack of brown bread there meant that every time we had a party I was really keen to offer something that was rare - yet not expensive (I was able to buy pumpernickel, cream cheese and edible flowers in an international deli) so that I could make plenty and feed large crowds.

Yesterday I held a fundraiser tea party with Slow Food Waitakere for Oxfam, and decided to make my flower sandwiches again, also as a topic of conversation (are they sweet or savory? Can you eat the flowers? What kind of bread is this?). All you need is pumpernickel (this comes from Germany and it is already sliced), cream cheese (like Philadelphia), fresh herbs (I used chives and basil), a pinch of salt, and lots of edible flowers, micro greens or seed sprouts. 
Chop the herbs and mix with the cream cheese (add a little milk to make it spreadable) and a pinch of salt. Spread the herb cheers over three layers of pumpernickel (including the to payer) and stack. Cut into the desired size. Top with edible flowers and leaves.

This was part of the first station of our tea party: the herbal tea corner, with different hot and cold herbal teas, rose and orange biscuits, strawberry meringues and scones with cream and jam.

But we also had an English High Tea table, with leaf Indian tea, cupcakes, club sandwiches, asparagus rolls, and more scones, meringues and chocolates.

Then in the kitchen there was more or an Italian fare with bread and focaccia, Italian biscuits, orange cake and chocolate cake… and coffee!

The last room was for the Japanese tea party, I forgot to take a photo during the preparations, fortunately Regina got this one, with guests! Here we had mango agar agar, brown rice crackers, Japanese sweets with bean paste, nashi and persimmons, and green tea.

 Over thirty people attended and it was a great afternoon, thank you to all the ladies at Slow Food for cooking and helping: Penny, Sue, Regina and Fi. Thank you also to Pukeko Baker and Miller's Coffee, and to all who attended and donated to Oxfam. If you couldn't make it you can always make a donation to Oxfam here.

Photos (except the last one) and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Alessandra yours sandwichs look beauty and cute:)

  2. Che tenerezza!!!
    Buona settimana

  3. Prendo l'aereo e arrivooooooo Aspettatemi eheheheheh


  5. Thank you Alessandra for an amazing high tea. I enjoyed everything and Tui specially liked the pumpernickel sandwiches, Italian bread and Japanese mango agar jelly! Frances

  6. Thank you for coming Frances, Tui is too cute for words, and such a good girl too! :-)

  7. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    mango drinks

  8. Bellissimi queste tartine floreali e che bella riunione, complimenti!
    ti seguo
    Ciao Su

  9. Wait, you have tatami room in your house, and kotatsu too?!?! May I live in your home.... :D This is awesome party! I wish I could attend. :) Very impressive! The edible flowers are so pretty to decorate. I love those sandwiches!

  10. Come over any time Nami for a meal in our Japanese room, but I may have to ask you to cook too :-)!

  11. Che meraviglia di tartine! slurp!!!
    favoloso anche il servizio di piatti ;-)



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