The Duchess and the Pea

What could be more proper than a decorous English tea sandwich? Filled daintily but not overstuffed, crusts carefully removed, each mouthful is an architectural feat, rendered in an edible medium. History has spared no detail on this stately creation, giving full attribution to Anna Maria Stanhope, seventh Duchess of Bedford, who felt the sharp jab of hunger midday, while dinner was still many hours off. A well-mannered lady could not simply pilfer scraps from the kitchen- Heavens, no! Fashioning these elegant little two-bite affairs to serve with tea, no one needed suffer the embarrassment of an uncontrolled appetite in civilized company.

Why, then, has it taken so long for contemporary cooks to realize the potential of another British staple, the English pea, when crafting a perfectly proper filling? Tender, sweet green pearls that sing of spring’s bounty, they’re an even more esteemed asset than the common cucumber.

While we’re on the subject of names and origins, I must wonder why there isn’t more tea involved in a rightful tea sandwich? Of course, like coffee cake, the moniker intones what should be served with the food at hand, but I find myself unsatisfied with that explanation. In my remodeled bread building, stunning butterfly pea tea powder grants lightly tangy cream cheese an arresting blue hue.

In less formal settings, the pea spread could become a dip for any variety of fresh vegetable crudites, crackers, or chips. In fact, it could be swirled through strands of al dente spaghetti for a savory seasonal treat, too. However, something about the full combination of elements, complete with effortlessly yielding soft sandwich bread, really makes it shine. Do give it a go; it’s only proper to try.

Yield: Makes 2 Servings

Pea Tea Sandwiches

Pea Tea Sandwiches

Putting the "tea" back into tea sandwiches, butterfly pea tea flower gives the cream cheese in this stately snack a brilliant blue color. Fresh peas carry the theme to brighter, bolder flavors than ever before. It's a celebration of spring produce, in all its seasonal glory.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


Fresh Pea Spread:

  • 1 Cup Shelled Fresh English Peas, Lightly Steamed
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Roughly Chopped Fresh Chervil, Parsley, and/or Mint
  • 1 Scallion, Thinly Sliced
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to Taste

To Assemble:

  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Butterfly Pea Tea Powder (aka "Blue Matcha")
  • 1/2 English Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
  • 4 Slices Soft Sandwich Bread (White, Multigrain, or Whole Wheat; Pick Your Favorite)


  1. In a small bowl, roughly mash the peas with the oil and lemon juice with a fork or potato masher. Alternately, pulse in your food processor, until spreadable but not smooth. It should still have a good deal of texture to it. Add the fresh herbs and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  2. To make the sandwiches, blend the cream cheese and butterfly pea tea powder together in a separate bowl. Once homogeneous, spread half of the blue mixture on each of two slices of bread. Top with equal amounts of slice cucumbers. Distribute the fresh pea spread equally between the two pieces, smoothing it over the full surface. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
  3. Use a sharp serrated knife to remove the crusts around each sandwich. Cut in half to make neat rectangles, or diagonally into quarters, depending on your sandwich aesthetics. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Frozen and thawed green peas can be used intead of fresh, if they're out of season.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 525Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 663mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 18g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

6 thoughts on “The Duchess and the Pea

    1. Nope, I think that would be a lovely modification, to have an all-green sandwich! The only real change it would make is in the caffeine content. ;)

  1. My goodness i couldn’t figure out what the blue was! Brilliant! I’ve never had the pleasure of an English pea, at least not picked from the garden. It’s kind of the epitome of spring, along with strawberries. Love this, at least as much as a cucumber sandwich, but much prettier!

    1. Never?! I do hope you have a chance to taste real, fresh English peas this season. They’re incredible!

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