Tender and Sweet
With their delicate skin, floral sweetness, and luscious texture, fresh figs are worlds away from better-known dried figs. Varieties of fresh figs include the purple-black Mission and the pale-green Calimyrna. Most are available in North America from summer through fall.
Raw or Cooked
Pair raw figs with peppery salad greens and a sweet-tart vinaigrette, or serve them with soft cheese and a drizzle of honey or a tangle of caramelized onions. Cooked with a rich wine, such as port, they form a silky sauce for roasted pork or chicken. Don't forget dessert: Figs shine in tarts and cakes.
At the Store, at Home
The prettiest fresh figs aren't always the tastiest. Perfectly ripe figs, which are plump and tender (but never mushy), are often slightly cracked, with a bit of "honey" forming at the stem. They're highly perishable, so use them right away, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.