Fresh Fig Recipes to Make While This Luscious Fruit Is in Season


Fresh figs are a delicacy. Their richly-colored skin like velvet, luscious texture, and floral flavors are a world away from the concentrated chewiness of dried figs. A heaping platter of ripe figs, with a couple gently squeezed open, reminiscent of a Dutch still life, is one of the most beautiful things you can serve to friends around a supper table. Just add fruit knives and an excellent cheese.

Beyond the fruit bowl, fresh figs are versatile and surprising. They improve simple savory salads and snacks, and add complexity to easy or slow-cooked entrées. Their famous sweetness is a foil for tart vinegars and a natural for decadent desserts. Rich in potassium, Vitamins K and B6, they are a nutritious ingredient.

Pounce on ripe figs when you see them. Use them quickly; they don't ripen at home. Look for smooth, plump specimens. Wrinkling or stickiness indicates over-ripeness. An under-ripe fig feels woody. Please don't squeeze: A light touch will tell you if it is ripe. Store figs for up to two days in the refrigerator, covered, in a single layer.

While we think of figs as fruit, they are actually edible flowers. They appear from midsummer, when the first, breba crop ripens on the tree. This smaller crop grows on the previous season's wood. The main crop is responsible for the flush of fruit at market in early fall. It forms later, on this season's new, green growth.

Read on for our favorite fresh fig recipes. They'll inspire your own delicious meals and desserts to come.

01 of 13

Fig-and-Plum Cake

fig-and-plum cake served in a white dish
Justin Walker

The best of early fall fruit is combined in one delectable cake, featuring frangipane and a buttery crust. Use dark-skinned mission figs for the best color.

02 of 13

Figs and Prosciutto

Kirsten Strecker

A classic that will never grow old, sweet figs and salty prosciutto make the quickest and most eye-catching of appetizers or light lunches.

03 of 13

Grilled Pork Chops with Rosemary Gremolata and Figs

Con Poulos

Ripe figs perfumed by fresh rosemary skewers are the outstanding partner that top quality pork chops deserve. The unusual, orange-inflected gremolata provides an intense finishing touch.

04 of 13

Arugula Salad with Figs, Pine Nuts and Radicchio


This bright, nutrition-packed salad looks as good as it tastes. Crisply bitter radicchio is made for the sweetness of fresh figs. Serve alongside a roast chicken or seared steak.

05 of 13

Fresh Figs with Mascarpone and Warm Spiced Honey

Elizabeth Germain

The flavors and textures of this quickly assembled dessert are sublime. Smooth mascarpone, cardamom-spiced warm honey, and fresh figs come together in the most delightful way.

06 of 13

Broiled Green Figs with Pancetta


Broiled green figs sprinkled with fennel seeds and wrapped in crisped pancetta are the perfect chaser for an evening's aperitif.

07 of 13

Pickled Beet and Fig Salad

Christopher Testani

Plump figs pull together the acid of pickled beets, the heat of mustard, and the pepperiness of watercress in a hearty and intensely flavored salad.

08 of 13

Pizza with Fresh Figs, Ricotta, Thyme and Honey

Marcus Nilsson

For an eye catching appetizer, assertively herbal thyme turns honey savory, and a careful seasoning with salt and pepper steers the sweet figs into grown up territory.

09 of 13

Fig and Strawberry Tart

Fig and Strawberry Tart

This hazelnut-rich tart is an excellent excuse to combine those out-of-season strawberries you see at the supermarket with perfectly ripe figs. Live wildly: Combine seasons!

10 of 13

Prosciutto Crostini and Fresh Figs with Gorgonzola


For a quick but substantial snack raise the bar on the prosciutto-fig combination and add crusty baguette with vibrant, fresh herbs. The fresh figs tame the bite of gorgonzola.

11 of 13

Fresh Fig and Feta Salad with Mint


In this deconstructed, dramatic salad, the mouth watering saltiness of feta is tempered by the floral sweetness of fresh Smyrna figs and the bite of fresh mint. Add a hunk of bread for mopping.

12 of 13

Roasted Chicken with Polenta and Balsamic-Poached Figs

Roasted Chicken with Polenta and Balsamic-Poached Figs
Con Poulos

A comforting start-ahead, then quickly-assembled dish for cold evenings in a warm home. The rich pan dripping from a roasted chicken are blended with balsamic-poached figs for an unforgettable sauce that might make you lick your plate.

13 of 13

Spiced Poached Figs


The sweetly-tart botrytis character of Sauternes spiced with peppercorns and star anise, turns simple fresh green figs luxe.

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