In a medium-size bowl, mix fresh goat cheese and chopped watercress; season with salt. Spread mixture evenly over 8 bread slices. Top with the remaining sliced of bread.
Carefully cut the crusts from each slice of bread with a long, sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again. Decorative shapes can be made with cookie cutters.
Roll cut edges of each sandwiches in the softened butter.
Place pecans on plate. Dip buttered edges of sandwiches into pecans, gently pressing the pecans into the butter.
Arrange sandwiches on platter. Garnish with watercress sprigs.
Yields 8 whole sandwiches or 16 halves or 32 fourths.
Making Sandwiches Ahead of Time:
If you need to make tea sandwiches in advance and need to keep them from drying out, cover them loosely with a sheet of wax paper and then place a damp kitchen towel over the wax paper (never place a damp towel directly on top of the bread because the sandwiches will become soggy). Refrigerate.
When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator. Uncover sandwiches just before serving.
* Choose the best-quality bread as possible. Never serve end slices. Freezing the bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.
** How To Clean Watercress: Cut off the stems off the watercress leaves with a knife or scissor; either discard or save the stems for making soup. Place the watercress leaves into a colander. Rinse thoroughly with cool water, tossing the watercress with your hands. Fill a large bowl with a solution of 2 tablespoons white vinegar per 2 quarts of cool water. Place the watercress leaves in the water and let soak for 30 minutes. This will remove any dirty smell or taste from the watercress. Pour the watercress into the colander. Rinse thoroughly once more with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.
*** To toast nuts, place in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350* degree F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until nuts are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cool.
Goat Cheese and Watercress Tea Sandwich Recipe: https://whatscookingamerica.net/sandwich/goatcheesewatercress.htm