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From Sandwiches To Scones, Tea-Time Recipes From Resident Chef Kathy Gunst

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Why not celebrate with a homemade afternoon tea? Our resident chef Kathy Gunst joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson with recipes, and samples of sandwiches and scones.

Ricotta And Radish Sandwiches

Beautiful pink radishes are grated into ricotta cheese and mixed with bright-green spring chives. You can spread this on brown bread, whole grain or traditional white bread, and make open-faced sandwiches or a traditional sandwich — with or without the crust.

The ricotta-radish mixture will keep for two days, covered and refrigerated. Serves 4.


  • 1 cup ricotta cheese or cream cheese, softened
  • 3 radishes, grated
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 or 8 slices of bread (thin, white, black, whole grain or your favorite), crusts removed


  1. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, grated radishes, two tablespoons chives, salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the mixture onto four slices of bread, top with the thinly sliced radishes, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of chives. Serve open-faced or top with another slice of bread and cut into quarters.

Watercress Tea Sandwiches


Spread four pieces of bread (white, black, whole grain) liberally with good salted butter. Top with at least four sprigs of watercress, salt and pepper. Top with another slice buttered bread (butter side inside). Cut into quarters (with or without crust) and top with a very thin slice of lemon.

Other Tea Sandwich Ideas

You can make tea sandwiches from any type of bread you like. Traditionally, tea sandwiches are made with crustless, thin white bread but you can use whole grain, rye, dark, black bread or biscuits. The bread shouldn’t be too thick — the sandwiches are meant to be delicate and light.

Tea sandwiches shouldn’t be assembled more than hour before serving or they will get soggy.

  • Cheddar cheese and chutney on brown bread
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese with chives on white bread
  • Thinly sliced hard-boiled egg slices on buttered bread with fresh dill, salt and pepper
  • Cucumber slices, fresh-chopped mint and salted butter on white bread
  • Avocado and cucumber slices on brown bread
  • Cream cheese and chopped toasted nuts
  • Grated carrots, raisins and chopped nuts on cream cheese, on brown or whole-grain bread

Tea Time

Serve an assortment of black, green and herbal tea. Ideally two to three pots, so everyone can choose what they like.

Serve with a small pitcher of milk (or cream), lemon slices, sugar and honey. Fresh mint leaves are a nice touch as well. The tea should steep, covered, for about two to five minutes, depending on how strong you like it and the variety.

Ginger Buttermilk Scones With Maple-Pistachio Nut Glaze

If you think scones are supposed to be dry and crumbly, think again.

These pastries are light, fluffy in texture and chock full of the flavor of fresh ginger, crystallized ginger and toasted pistachio nuts. When the scones are almost done baking, you brush them with maple syrup and press on the toasted pistachio nuts.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup well-chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced or chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts, chopped
  • About 1 cup maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In the container of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chilled butter, the ground ginger and pulse until butter becomes pea-sized. Place flour mixture in a large bowl and add the crystallized ginger. Gently toss to coat with flour. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in buttermilk. Gradually push the flour into the buttermilk and start to gently mix until the sides of the bowl become clean.
  3. Separate the dough into two pieces and gently shape each piece into a disk about 7 inches in diameter by 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut each disk into six triangle shapes and place each individual triangle on a greased cookie sheet. Bake on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, generously brush the scone with the maple syrup and gently press a handful of the pistachios on top, and down into the pastry. Bake another five to eight minutes or until lightly browned.

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(Kathy Gunst for Here & Now)
(Kathy Gunst for Here & Now)