Go Team USA! Open-Face Panini

Are you as sleep-deprived as I am this week from all of this late-night Olympics viewing?  But, man, it’s been worth it.  As someone who has never been mistaken for athletic (does varsity cheerleading count??), I am in absolute awe of our real-life superheroes.  Especially the gymnasts – these girls and guys can fly.

It actually didn’t occur to me to make Olympic-themed panini until Carolyn from Savannah, Georgia suggested an interesting On Your Grill panini combination: ham, blueberry and Brie.  I’ll admit, the skeptic in me did rear its head when I initially read this one.  Blueberries?  But when it comes to food, I’ve learned time and again, don’t knock it till you try it.  As I tried to visualize this one, I realized that the colors in this sandwich would be red, white and blue (well, pink, but close enough).  The idea hit me: open-face American flag panini!

So, ladies and gentlemen…as a tribute to our American athletes over in Beijing, I present to you Go Team USA! Open-Face Panini: sliced French bread, topped with a thin layer of sweet honey, creamy Brie cheese, “stripes” of ham and plump summer blueberries.

Carolyn was right – these flavors do go great together!  Sweet and savory never seems to fail.  Ham and brie is a tried-and-true combo, but the blueberry factor was a new one for me.  I had debated whether to use whole blueberries or preserves, and I’m glad I went with the whole berries – that warm, gently sweet burst you get when they break in your mouth is a fun part of eating these snack-like sandwiches.  Thanks so much for the great idea, Carolyn!

Do you have a panini combination I ought to try?  Submit an idea for On Your Grill and I might feature it on Panini Happy!

Go Team USA! Open-Face Panini

Serves 4


4 slices French bread
Brie cheese
2 slices deli ham, sliced into 1/2″ strips
Fresh blueberries


Preheat panini grill to medium-high heat (375 degrees).

To prepare each open-face sandwich: Spread a thin layer of honey on a slice of bread.  Spread a generous amount of Brie on top of the honey.  Arrange strips of ham and blueberries to create an American flag design on top of the Brie. Place sandwiches on the panini grill.  Close the lid, adjusting the grill height so that the upper grate does not make contact with the sandwich.  Grill for 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasted.


KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. noble pig wrote:

    Don’t let anyone ever tell you varsity cheerleading is not athletic. I don’t know about you but we worked out hard and did lots of gymnastics!

    Anyway this sandwich is a great tribute to our wonderful athletes!

    Posted 8.16.08 Reply
  2. Dragon wrote:

    My, my aren’t you patriotic. 🙂 I bet you were a cute cheerleader.

    Posted 8.17.08 Reply
  3. Jenny wrote:

    That is so awesome! I’ve got to make this for my husband!

    Posted 8.18.08 Reply
  4. Tom Aarons wrote:

    What a simple and delightful looking combination. Go team! 🙂

    Posted 8.18.08 Reply
  5. sharon wrote:

    The Olympics have definitely kept me up past my bedtime. Great panini. The blueberry addition sounds quite intriguing.

    I wish I could give you some panini suggestions, but looks like you’ve covered just about everything!

    Posted 8.18.08 Reply
  6. Esi wrote:

    What a cute little sandwich! I stayed up late every night last week, but now that swimming is over, I am getting back to a more normal schedule.

    Posted 8.20.08 Reply
  7. Leslie wrote:

    Love the flag!
    Thanks for your comment on my sweet potato casserole! Theres no need to wait make it for Thanksgiving…its delish anynight of the week

    Posted 8.26.08 Reply