I’m a bit of a fig purist. A fresh fig, just off the tree, still warm from the sun, is my idea of heaven. These are hard to come by, though, and the truth is I like figs in any form: as jam, in a tart, dried, broiled, even as ice cream. The only issue with fresh figs is how quickly they can go bad. They’re best when consumed right away, though they’ll keep in the refrigerator for a few days. I was recently gifted and abundance of figs from a friend’s tree and found a few great ways to use them. Delicious!
Fresh figs pair wonderfully with something a little salty, which is why they’re often partnered with bacon, pancetta or prosciutto. I prefer this version unbaked, but it is also quite tasty when baked at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes — just long enough for the meat to get crispy.
1. Quarter large figs, or slice in half if small, and wrap with good quality prosciutto
– add a mint or basil leaf
– add a bit of feta, goat cheese or blue cheese
Fresh figs are great in a salad, especially with a spicy lettuce and a sweet dressing.
2. Quartered or halved, add figs to an arugula salad with a bit of shaved parmesan and a honey-balsamic dressing.
3. Figs go nicely with pears in salad – add pecans or walnuts and a tangy cheese (bleu, gorgonzola, crumbled goat cheese) dressed with some balsamic and oil or a touch of honey
4. Roasted figs make a nice addition to a salad as well – most especially when paired with a tart cheese
Add Fresh figs to a sandwich or tartine (open face sandwich)
5. Spread ricotta on bread or toast, add a sprinkling of fresh thyme and/or lemon zest, sliced figs and a drizzle of honey
6. Spread goat cheese on toasted bread, then sliced figs and top with caramelized onion
Fresh figs make delightful desserts
7. As part of a cheese plate, with walnuts and honey
8. Mix yogurt with a bit of lemon zest, top with figs, drizzle a little honey and a sprinkling of pistachios
9. Fig shortcake: mix a dash or two of orange flower water into whip cream or mascarpone, slice open an sweet biscuit, top with the scented cream or mascarpone, top with halved figs (fresh or roasted), drizzle with honey
10. Roast halved figs at 375 degrees, cut side up, for about 15 minutes. Add to vanilla ice cream and swoon.