Crusty country bread topped with fig jam, ricotta, San Daniele ham (a sweeter alternative to prosciutto) and arugula.
 Roasted ham, fresh figs and arugula on a baguette (photo © The Model Bakery | St. Helena, California).
January 16th is National Fig Newton Day, but we have no Newtons at hand. We do, however, have figs…and bread…and cheese…and ham. So we’re creating a savory Fig Newton sandwich for lunch, substituting fresh figs and fig jam for the Newton filling, and bread for the cookie portion. We have enough ingredients to make the sandwich in a number of ways:
Figs: Fresh or dried figs (the different types of figs).
Jam: Fig jam or fig spread.
Ham: boiled, roasted, prosciutto, serrano and other varieties.
Cheese: Goat cheese, ricotta, or for a ham and fig grilled cheese, mozzarella, Gruyère or other semihard cheese.
Bread: baguette, country loaf or focaccia (we just baked this grape focaccia), although any bread works.
Greens: arugula, fresh spinach or watercress.
When you make a ham sandwich, think of this:
While today ham is the food of Everyman, for a long time it was an elite meat: enjoyed by royalty and served by the affluent on special occasions. In the Roman Empire, it was served to emperors and their guests.
> THE HISTORY OF SANDWICHES
> THE HISTORY OF HAM
> THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HAM
> THE HISTORY OF FIGS