A great sandwich has a fine balance between salty and sweet. In this sandwich, by pickling the figs you're adding a bit of both sensations. The whole package is rounded out by a meat no one can argue with — proscuitto — and ricotta cheese for a subtle addition of texture and flavor. Picked figs can be kept for any rainy day, but they make an excellent addition to a sandwich like this.
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Note: The figs can be made up to a week in advance and stored in a refrigerator.
Combine the water, vinegar, ginger, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a fork, poke holes in the figs so they will be able to absorb the liquid. Add the figs to the mixture and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the figs cook for 2-3 hours, depending on your preference. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
Toast the bread until it browns slightly. If the figs are still warm, cut them in half (as many as you would like) and place them on the bottom slice of bread. Spread on the ricotta and add the proscuitto and the top slice of bread. Serve warm.