Go Team USA! Open-Face Panini

by on August 15, 2008

Post image for 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.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 noble pig August 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

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!


2 Dragon August 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm

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


3 Jenny August 18, 2008 at 4:26 am

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


4 Tom Aarons August 18, 2008 at 4:34 am

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


5 sharon August 18, 2008 at 9:07 am

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!


6 Esi August 20, 2008 at 12:29 pm

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.


7 Leslie August 26, 2008 at 10:51 am

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


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