Tea sandwiches aren't just for girly girls. They are for hungry husbands, sweety pies, friends dropping in to help with big projects, little buddies and indulgent parents. When petite, perfect sandwiches are grilled slightly, eyes light up. They even go white at the edges when you mention this particular sandwich involves creamy goat cheese, fresh lavender buds, raw agave syrup and vanilla flake salt. This is a next level tea sandwich.

Portland's clouds have given way to the most other worldly blues and evening pinks. It's the perfect time of year to use a panini machine, avoiding traditional cooking and not having to turn on the stove. And what to serve with such a delight? Chocolate Rooibos from Gypsy Tea is warming with layers of spice: carob, ginger, red tea as a backdrop for all the other ingredients. It's a fabulous, mellow, non-caffeinated chocolate fix that is enhanced by a splash of whole milk and a dram of sugar. This earthy beverage compliments the cacophony of tastes found in the panini: sweet, creamy,ripe, salty and floral. Have you ever tried Rooibos tea? What do you think of it?

Lavender, Goat Cheese, Agave Panini with Vanilla Salt
makes 1 sandwich

2 slices buttermilk bread
goat cheese (I used about 2 heaping tablespoons)
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh lavender flowers
flake vanilla salt (I buy mine at the Meadow. You can order some online from this unbelievable shop)
1 tablespoon agave syrup (or honey would be lovely)
butter for greasing the pan/panini machine

Preheat a panini machine to about 375-400 degrees (I have this panini maker left over from this shoot)or just a nob of butter in a pan on low heat. Butter both sides of the bread. Spread as much or as little goat cheese as you like on one side of the bread, sprinkle the lavender and vanilla salt all over the cheesed half of the sandwich. Add the agave (you may have to evenly spread it with your fingers) to the top of the cheesed side.

Put the other piece of bread on and grill for 3 or 4 minutes on each side if toasting on the stove. If using the panini maker, grill for 3-4 minutes then rotate 45 degrees for another 3 minutes so you get those cute cross-hatch grill marks.

Chocolate Rooibos Tea
I found mine at Whole Foods. I'm pretty sure Zhena's Gypsy Teas are available all over, but if you can't find it locally, try their site.


  1. I am in LOVE! This looks so good as I sit here on a Friday afternoon hungry and wanting to splurge- cheese, crusty bread, honey and lavender sounds like the perfect trick!

    xo Sal

  2. This is wonderful!! Congrats on the new blog.

  3. thanks darling heather! always fun to have a new project up the ole sleeve, huh?


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