Spinach Artichoke Tea Sandwiches with Lemon
Spinach artichoke tea sandwiches are light, delicate appetizers perfect for a springtime or summertime afternoon tea! The spread uses freshly steamed spinach and a squeeze of lemon for a bright, fresh flavor, and is rounded out with a good helping of parmesan cheese. Garnish with a bit of lemon zest for a pop of color!
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It’s been a while since I posted a recipe for finger sandwiches so I wanted to add something super springy! I did a little brainstorming by looking at springtime seasonal produce and saw artichokes on the list.
Spinach artichoke dip is a no-brainer delicious combo, so I gave it a little warm-weather twist by keeping it as a cold spread and adding some lemon and preserved lemon pieces. It’s bright, fresh, and makes a perfect simple springtime or summertime tea sandwich!
About Artichoke Spinach Tea Sandwiches
Like many tea sandwiches, these are very simple — just one type of spread between two slices of delicate white bread. The cold artichoke spinach dip filling has lemon added for a nice summery tang.
The texture of the spread is fine enough that taking a bite of the sandwich won’t leave you pulling out big chunks of anything with your teeth (never fun when you’re trying to be dainty). These light, bright little morsels are perfect for a warm-weather tea party!
Mayonnaise, cream cheese, and sour cream give the spinach artichoke spread a creamy and slightly tangy base. Freshly steamed spinach and the tenderest baby artichokes are finely chopped and added to give a relatively homogenous texture, perfect for biting into delicate tea sandwiches without accidentally pulling out chunks with your teeth.
Fresh lemon juice, zest, and diced preserved lemon rind give the dip a bright, summery twist, and some Parmesan helps balance out the tartness.
A square white bread was the way to go for these artichoke spinach tea sandwiches! Square bread makes all the difference in getting perfectly symmetrical triangle-shaped sandwiches. I used Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread. Just assemble the sandwiches, trim off the crusts, and cut in two diagonals and they’re perfect!
How to find and use preserved lemon
First of all, if you can’t find preserved lemon feel free to leave it out of the recipe. The dip will still be delicious! But I LOVE the subtle tangy bursts of flavor it adds to the recipe.
Preserved lemons can be difficult to find at a regular grocery store. You may find them in the ethnic food section (it’s traditionally used in Moroccan cooking) or at an ethnic grocery store. World Market and some Whole Foods stores carry them, and I’ve purchased mine on Amazon. You can also make them yourself if you have a month to allow them to cure!
Only the rind is used in preserved lemons. So to use them, first remove the lemon from the jar, rinse off any excess brine, and cut the lemon into wedges. Run a knife between the meat of the lemon and the rind and discard the flesh. Then dice the rind to use in the recipe!
Tips and tricks
To cut your sandwiches smoothly, the easiest way is to freeze your bread for about 30 minutes prior to assembling your sandwiches.
Spread the filling on the bread and top with your second slice, and then use a serrated bread knife with a sawing motion and gentle pressure to cut off the crusts and cut the triangles. This will ensure clean edges!
Wipe off the knife between each cut to avoid transferring the dip to the bread when you make your next cut.
Can spinach artichoke tea sandwiches be made ahead of time?
Yes, they can! You can make the spread several days in advance if you wish and assemble the sandwiches just before serving.
Or, you can even prepare the completed sandwiches and store them for several hours or overnight until it’s time for tea.
To store the tea sandwiches, place a sheet of parchment paper between sandwich layers if you’re stacking them two or more deep in a tupperware. Top with parchment, and then add a damp paper towel on top before closing the container to keep the bread from drying out.
What goes well with artichoke spinach tea sandwiches?
Try pairing with these other afternoon tea recipes for a spring or summertime tea party!
More tea sandwich recipes
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Springtime Artichoke Spinach Tea Sandwiches
For the artichoke spinach lemon spread
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 14-oz can or jar baby artichoke hearts drained and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice to taste
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 preserved lemon (optional)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to taste
- 16 slices square sandwich bread
For the artichoke spinach lemon spread
- Put spinach in a microwave-safe bowl with a splash of water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes or until fully wilted.
- Drain spinach. When cool enough to handle, put spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. You'll end up with a tiny little ball of steamed spinach. Transfer to a cutting board and chop finely.
- To prepare the preserved lemon, first cut it into wedges. Remove the flesh from each wedge with a knife and discard. You will only be using the rind. Finely dice the rind and set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream until smooth.
- Add in chopped spinach, artichoke hearts, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, preserved lemon rind, and black pepper. Add 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice to taste and 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to taste.
For the sandwiches
- Freeze bread for 30 minutes prior to assembling the sandwiches.
- Spread a heaping 1/4 cup of spread evenly on each of 8 slices of bread, making sure to get all the way to the edges. Top each with another slice of bread.
- Using a serrated bread knife and a sawing motion with gentle pressure (so as not to squeeze out the filling), cut off the crusts of each sandwich. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally, then in half the other way diagonally, to create four triangular tea sandwiches.
To make ahead
- Artichoke spinach lemon spread may be made several days in advance and refrigerated, covered.
- Tea sandwiches may be served immediately or made a day in advance. To store, arrange sandwiches in an airtight container with parchment paper between layers if you're stacking sandwiches on top of each other. Top the final layer with a piece of parchment paper followed by a damp paper towel to keep the bread from drying out. Let sandwiches come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.