You can use any vegetables you like for this spread, but salting the vegetables is key to keeping your sandwiches from turning soggy.
I don’t recommend making this in a food processor as the veggies tend to release their liquid and turn the cream cheese runny, and the vegetable with the dominant color (usually anything red) obliterates the presence of everything else. It’s nice to see the colorful bits of each vegetable, fruit and herb.
Veggie Cream Cheese Sandwiches (cutting bread into two triangles will make approximately 12 sandwiches, cutting bread in to four triangles 24 sandwiches)
1 loaf white or brown bread
1/4 cup (60ml) minced sweet red, yellow or orange pepper
1/4 cup (60ml) grated carrot
1 Tbsp. (15ml) minced green onion/scallion (just the green part)
1 Tbsp. (15ml) minced flat leaf parsley plus more for garnish if you like
1 – 8 oz. (225g) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5ml) lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Edible flowers for garnish. The small purple flowers in the photo are chive blossoms.
Note: Have damp paper towels at the ready to cover the sandwiches as you make them. This will keep the bread from drying out. Wet the towel and wring it out; don’t leave it sopping.
Toss the pepper and carrot with salt, and let sit in a colander for one hour to drain.
Rinse off excess salt, squeeze out any excess water, and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
If you have a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. If you don’t, use a wooden spoon. The softer the cream cheese, the easier it is to incorporate the vegetable mixture and to spread it without tearing the bread.
Add the pepper/carrot mixture, scallions, parsley, and lemon zest to the cream cheese.
Add salt and pepper to taste (it might not need any).
Spread two tablespoons of the veggie cheese on a piece of bread, and cover with another. Press lightly to encourage the sandwich to hold together.
Remove the crusts, and cut into shapes.
Plate and sprinkle with chopped parsley and/or edible flowers.