A ham and fontina cheese Panini slathered with mustard flavored with blackberries and rosemary is a wonderful twist on a traditional ham and cheese sandwich. A few weeks ago one of my friends brought us a Honey Baked Ham. We used to eat Honey Baked Hams all the time when I was younger and I just love the crunchy sweet coating of honey that frames each slice.
I had some ham leftover and I wanted to make some sandwiches, but not just any sandwich. I wanted something different. For cheese I picked Fontina because I love how rich and creamy it is when melted. I had some blackberries that were dangerously close to turning into a fuzzy science project so I decided to make a blackberry mustard. I wanted to use a herb for more flavor and I chose Rosemary which next to sage is my favorite herb to use during the wintry months. The result was a hearty and delicious sandwich that is great by itself or paired with a bowl of soup. And with the gorgeous color of the mustard, it looks really pretty too.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
- 8 slices Italian or French Bread
- 1 pound sliced ham
- 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- To make Blackberry Mustard, combine blackberries, Dijon mustard, sugar, honey, rosemary, and cayenne in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring and mashing blackberries with the back of a spoon, until mixture comes to a boil.
- In a small bowl, mix together vinegar and cornstarch. Add to blackberry mixture. Stir to combine. Let mixture simmer for about 30 seconds and remove from heat.
- Spread some butter on 1 side of each piece of bread.
- Spread the other side of 4 pieces of bread with blackberry mustard.
- Divide the shredded cheese on the non-buttered side of the remaining slices. Top with ham and the blackberry mustard coated slices.
- Heat a Panini grill and grill sandwiches one at a time until cheese is melted. Alternately you can use a griddle or nonstick skillet.