Downton Abbey Season 4 is almost here!!! (Pardon me while I contain my excitement.) In honor of episode 1 which premiers on Sunday, I thought I would make one of my favorite British inspired meals- Branston pickle and cheese sandwiches. The first time I had a pickle and cheese sandwich was with my mother and sister. We were sharing 3 tiers of delicious confections for Afternoon Tea at Central Perc European Café in Oakwood Ohio. Once I put one of those dainty triangles of soft bread, sharp cheese, and sweetly tangy Branston pickle in my mouth, it was love at first bite. They taste even better when served with a pot of hot tea, but I also like them for lunch with some salty vegetable chips.
4 slices good quality white bread
about ½ cup aged sharp white cheddar, grated
2 tablespoons Branston pickle relish- (recommended: Crosse & Blackwell*)
Spread a thin layer of soft butter on one side of two slices of bread. On the opposite 2 pieces of bread spread a tablespoon of Branston pickle. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded cheddar on the pickled side of the sandwich, then top with the buttered slices.
Cut in half diagonally and serve with chips for a casual lunch, or cut into fourths, and serve with a pot of Earl Grey for a sophisticated lunch- perhaps whilst watching Downton Abbey.
*Branston Pickle is a jarred pickled chutney made by Crosse & Blackwell in Suffolk. Other generic versions are typically called “Ploughman’s Pickle”.