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Ham sandwiches with style

(ran SP, NP editions)

After enjoying ham for Easter, use leftovers to create sandwiches with style. Savory and sumptuous sandwiches are easy to make when you pair leftover ham with gourmet breads, cheeses, salsas and gourmet condiments.

The Bookworm: Layer a split submarine roll with slices of ham, salami, mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Top with yellow mustard, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced black olives and pickle chips.

The Italian: Toast Italian bread, spread with a tapenade of olives, then layer with ham, mild white cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.

The Philosopher: Fill a pita pocket with slices of ham, dabs of goat cheese, chopped tomato, sliced peppers, chopped artichoke hearts and sliced olives. The sandwich can be topped with chopped lettuce, sliced cucumber and a drizzle of vinaigrette.

The Overachiever: Spread a large flour tortilla with salsa, cover with thinly sliced ham, shredded lettuce and cheese. Roll the tortilla and serve.

The Artist: Place a slice of deli rye on a serving plate. Spread the bread with stone-ground mustard. Top with spicy alfalfa sprouts, sliced tomato, green pepper rings, sliced brick cheese, thinly sliced ham, romaine lettuce leaves and a second slice of rye bread. Spear a pimento-stuffed olive with a toothpick and secure in sandwich.

The Lady-Who-Lunches: Combine thin strips of ham with minced celery, raisins, mandarin orange segments, chopped dry roasted peanuts and mayonnaise blended with a touch of curry powder and lime juice. Serve on white bread.

The Critic: Spread Dijon-style mustard on focaccia then add shaved ham, sliced tomato, alfalfa sprouts and Gruyere cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts.

The Romantic: Combine mayonnaise and horseradish, spread over toasted black bread. Top with slices of ham, Swiss cheese, watercress and thinly sliced pears.

Happy 100th: This is the hundredth anniversary for Melba toast, invented for the leading coloratura soprano of the 19th century, Nellie Melba. The story goes that one evening she turned down a pate de foie gras sandwich because it was too heavy ("A sandwich, dear friend, at this hour goes against my taste and my figure"). Rather than serve her a dab of pate on a spoon, as she asked, the famous chef Auguste Escoffier served it on the thin, crisp toast he eventually named after her.

Peach Melba (peach slices poached in vanilla-flavored syrup, coated with raspberry puree and served on vanilla ice cream) was also invented for Nellie Melba. Her real name was Helen Mitchell.

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