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easy appetizers

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table vegetarian

Grilled Blackberry, Basil and Havarti Mini Sandwiches


Grilled Blackberry, Basil and Havarti Mini Sandwiches 1_


 I adore warm and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches especially when they involve summer berries like these Grilled Blackberry, Basil and Havarti Mini Sandwiches.

These playful little mini sandwiches are filled with blackberries, blackberry preserves, tangy Havarti cheese and fresh summer basil. I created them last year for one of my clients and I loved them so much I couldn’t wait until blackberry season to make them again this year.

Blackberries are showing up in our local markets here in Oregon and they will soon be in the Farmer’s Markets. Our wild blackberries will also be ready for picking in the next few weeks. Truly, one of my favorite summer activities is to pick wild blackberries. I look forward to the few days I get to load up my mini step-stool, buckets and gloves and then head out in search of the best blackberry picking spot.

Grilled Blackberry, Basil and Havarti Mini Sandwiches // Karista's Kitchen

During the summer I put seasonal berries in everything. I make these grilled blackberry, basil and Havarti mini sandwiches, I add them to this blackberry and burrata salad, I use them in this Huckleberry Ginger Upside Down Cake, make blackberry barbecue sauce to pair with pork chops and pretty much anything else I can think of.  I even pair blackberries with fish, subbing the blackberries for the blueberries in this RECIPE.

One could say my food is “berry” intense during the summer months. 😉

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!



Grilled Blackberry, Basil and Havarti Mini Sandwiches

Serving Size: makes 24 mini's


  • 12 slices of good quality white bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pint of fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons blackberry or apricot preserves
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 8 slices of Havarti cheese


  • Butter both sides of each slice of bread.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the blackberries and preserves.
  • Pre-heat a grill pan or skillet over medium to low heat.
  • Place a slice of cheese on 6 slices of bread and then top the cheese with fresh basil leaves. Carefully place a spoonful or two of blackberries and preserves over the fresh basil leaves and then top with the remaining bread slices to make 6 full sized sandwiches.
  • When the pan is hot, add 2 or 3 of the sandwiches to the pan, or as many sandwiches that will fit in the pan. Brown both sides of each sandwich, being careful when flipping the sandwich. Continue until all the sandwiches have been grilled.
  • Place the sandwiches on a cutting board and when they’ve cooled a bit, cut them into quarters making mini sandwiches. I like to skewer two mini sandwiches together with a short skewer or party pick and serve. This way they won’t fall apart while serving.
  • Notes

    Originally created for Home By Design Magazine June 2017

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly vegetarian

    Bleu Cheese Baked Potato Chips

    bleu cheese sprinkled over potato chips and baked appetizer

    I love an indulgent looking appetizer table.  It feels like a little collection of your favorite presents spread all over the table. Mouthwatering and enticing, for a moment it might even feel just a wee bit decadent.  An assortment of nibbles and nosh to compliment the evening’s cocktail, afternoon tea or possibly a Brunch Mimosa.

    With Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner, I thought I’d share this delicious little lovely I snagged from my sister.  In our family, my sister, Kristin, is the Queen of the hors D’oeuvres table. Even on weeknights, she announces the evening meal with cocktails and a most brilliant selection of tasty appetizers.

    These easy Bleu Cheese Baked Potato Chips are a perfect quick nibble for last minute dinner parties, impromptu cocktail parties or when friends drop by for a quick visit and you need a little something to pair with wine or a cocktail.

    I typically use Organic salted Kettle chips and sometimes for fun I’ll serve this with the salt and pepper variety or sweet potato chips.  Per my sister’s suggestion, keep a bag of the chips in the freezer for last minute gatherings and guests. Then all you’ll need is the cheese… and if you’re like me, there is always cheese in my frig.

    I like to give credit where credit is due and although I think my sister one clever gal, she snagged this fun and delicious idea from her brilliant Sister in law, Laura Bryan.  Thanks Laura!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love to you all!


    Bleu Cheese Baked Potato Chips


    1 regular size bag potato chips (I like the Kettle Organic salted or salt and pepper and I’ve also prepared this with sweet potato chips!)

    4 ounces crumbled bleu or gorgonzola cheese

    1 baking sheet

    Parchment paper


    Pre-heat the oven to broil.  Spread the potato chips (you may not need the entire bag) over the parchment lined baking sheet.  Then sprinkle the crumbled cheese over the potato chips.

    Place under the broiler just until the cheese is melted.  Don’t walk away to grab your glass of wine or to give your dog a treat.  You’ll burn the chips! Yes, I did this. L

    *I’ve used an assortment of bleu and gorgonzola cheese. I love the Rogue Creamery Smokey Bleu or an Italian variety of gorgonzola. So delicious!