25 Ways to Enjoy the Flavor of Figs

Black Mission and Adriatic Figs

Patrizia Savarese/Getty Images

Fresh figs aren't always available and aren't always easy to find, even when they're in season. They are delicate, don't travel well, and don't last long once ripe. But, if you're lucky enough to have more figs on hand than you want to eat out-of-hand, these 25 recipes will rescue you. From a super-easy fig coulis and fig crostini to full-on fig jam and fig ice cream, these recipes run the gamut from easy to sophisticated, sweet to savory. 

  • 01 of 25

    Bacon-Wrapped Figs

    Bacon-Wrapped Figs

    Molly Watson

    These bacon-wrapped figs disappear at parties as quickly as you can pull them out of the oven. They have it all: salty, sweet, and meaty. Best of all, they are super easy to make and you can prep them ahead of time so when guests arrive, all you have to do is pop them in the oven.

  • 02 of 25

    Blue Cheese-Stuffed Figs

    Blue Cheese Stuffed Figs

    Molly Watson

    A bit of pungent blue cheese in the center of a fresh sweet fig - an easier and more intensely flavored appetizer bite does not exist! Match the tender texture of figs by using a gorgonzola dolce or other soft and creamy blue cheese.

  • 03 of 25

    Candied Figs

    Candied Figs

     

    Jacobo Zanella / Getty Images 

    Candying fresh figs isn't a quick process, but it is an easy one: make a simple syrup of sugar and water, let the figs slowly, but surely, absorb the syrup over a few days, and then allow the candied figs to air-dry before coating with granulated sugar. Store them in an air-tight tin or wrap them up in cellophane bags, tie with ribbon, and give away as gifts.

  • 04 of 25

    Fresh Fig Bread

    Fig Bread

     Diana Rattray

    Fresh figs get mashed into this batter—sort of like banana bread turned fig bread. Serve warm with butter or toast and top with cream cheese. A fresh slice all on its own is pretty good, too. 

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  • 05 of 25

    Fresh Fig Spread

    Fresh Fig Spread

    Marilyn Conway / Getty Images 

    Cooking fresh figs down with a bit of lemon juice, brown sugar, and vanilla extract turns them into a sweet, luscious spread. Spread it on toast, add it to grilled cheese sandwiches, or serve for a sweet element alongside cheese and cured meats. 

  • 06 of 25

    Fresh Fig Tart

    Fresh Fig Tart

     Anita Schecter

    Filling a baked tart shell with rich mascarpone cheese and topping it with chunks of fresh figs makes a charmingly rustic end to any casual dinner party. Since this tart has it all—creamy, sweet, and crunchy—there's no need to add a garnish or anything on the side. That said, you can take it over the top by serving it with fresh mint tea

  • 07 of 25

    Fig Blue Cheese Spinach Salad

    Fig Spinach Salad

    Diana Rattray

    Earthy spinach, sweet figs, and salty pungent blue cheese are doused with a warm bacon dressing in this rustic salad. It's the kind of salad that gets gobbled up even by those people who claim not to like salad.

  • 08 of 25

    Fig Coulis

    Fig Coulis

    Molly Watson

    Fresh figs can be turned into a quick coulis or sauce by simply whirling them in a blender or food processor with olive oil, balsamic, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Use it as a dip or spread, or heat it up for a tasty sauce on pork or turkey.

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  • 09 of 25

    Fig Crostini

    Fig Crostini

    Molly Watson 

    When figs are in season, it's best to keep them as simple as you can stand. Here, they are simply chopped and used to top thin toasts in a sweet, yet savory fig crostini. If you want to add a bit of goat cheese, a slice of prosciutto, or a sprinkle of nuts, knock yourself out!

  • 10 of 25

    Fig Green Salad

    Arugula Pancetta Fig Salad

    Molly Watson

    Sweet fresh figs are a great addition to any tossed green salad. They are particularly good with peppery greens such as arugula or bitter greens such as escarole.

  • 11 of 25

    Fig Honey Smoothie

    Fig Smoothie

     Anita Schecter

    A couple of fresh figs transform a classic banana-and-yogurt smoothie into something special. Much like making preserves or jam or sorbet or ice cream, this smoothie is a great way to use any figs that are so ripe that they're getting a tad mushier than you may want to eat fresh. 

  • 12 of 25

    Fig Ice Cream

    Fig Ice Cream

    Anita Schecter 

    The sour cream in the base of this ice cream adds a tartness that balances out the intense sweetness of the fresh figs. The perfect cooling yet rich summer treat.

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  • 13 of 25

    Figs in Brandy Sauce

    Figs for Brandy Sauce

    Topic Images Inc. / Getty Images 

    A sweet syrup laced with brandy and sherry turn figs into an elegant dessert. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for the best effect.

  • 14 of 25

    Figs in Spiced Syrup

    Figs in Syrup

     

    Lucy Lambriex / Getty Images 

    A few warm spices in a simple syrup become an amazing vehicle for figs, and is a useful trick for making the most of less-than-supremely sweet figs.

  • 15 of 25

    Fig Pizza

    Fig Pizza

    The Picture Pantry / Getty Images

    Sweet figs, peppery arugula, and salty Parmesan come together to make this unusual pizza full of flavor.

  • 16 of 25

    Fig Preserves

    Fig Preserves

     

    Westend61 / Getty Images 

    If you find yourself in the position of having more figs than you can eat fresh, turn any excess into these simple fig preserves, perfect for spreading on toast, biscuits, or scones all through the year. 

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  • 17 of 25

    Fig Salad With Apple and Blue Cheese

    Fig Apple Salad

    Leah Maroney 

    Sweet, tart, and a bit crunchy, this salad can brighten any meal. The pine nuts add a final sweetness; if you have trouble finding them, feel free to use pecans instead.

  • 18 of 25

    Fig Sorbet

    Storing Fresh Figs
    Westend61/Getty Images

    Ripe figs, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice are all you need to make this refreshing sorbet. By the way, this is a great use for those over-ripe figs that are starting to fall apart but are still edible. 

  • 19 of 25

    Figgy Sparkler

    Figgy Sparkler

    S&C Design Studios 

    The fresh fig in this sparkling cocktail makes it truly special. While there's never anything wrong with real champagne, there are so many other flavors going on in this drink, less expensive sparkling wine will work just fine. 

  • 20 of 25

    Grilled Figs

    Grilled Figs

    Hilary Brodey / EyeEm

    Grilled fruit is one of the easiest desserts on the planet: just cut the fruit, brush with a bit of neutral flavored oil, and pop it on the grill. It's a particularly good option when you have the grill going anyway.

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  • 21 of 25

    Honey-Fried Figs

    Honey Figs

     

    BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images 

    Heating up cut fresh figs in a simple honey sauce turns these juicy sweet fruits into a stunning dessert. A bit of ice cream or frozen yogurt or whipped cream rounds out all the intense sweetness for a simple rustic, utterly delicious dessert.

  • 22 of 25

    Labneh-Stuffed Figs

    Labneh-Stuffed Figs

    Anita Schecter 

    Labneh is a thickened yogurt. Here, a spoonful of creamy rich labneh gets added to the center of a tender ripe fig. The whole thing is then drizzled with honey and topped with chopped pistachios for a bit of crunch. Serve as a sweet-and-salty appetizer.   

  • 23 of 25

    Parma Ham Tart With Fig

    Parma Ham Tart With Fig

    Steve Lee 

    Flaky puff pastry gets filled with caramelized onions and topped with parma ham and garnished with a bit of sweet fig to make a flavor-rich, effort-light appetizer. The recipe calls for red onions, but any onions, properly caramelized, will create the same delicious effect.

  • 24 of 25

    Red Wine Fig Jam

    Red Wine Fig Jam

    Foodcollection RF / Getty Images 

    The tannins in red wine balance out the deep sweetness of fresh figs in this simple homemade jam. A bit of balsamic vinegar adds the perfect acidic kick. Use on toast, add to sandwiches, or use as a spread on a cheese plate.

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  • 25 of 25

    Yogurt Panna Cotta With Figs

    Yogurt Panna Cotta With Figs

    Anita Schecter

    This panna cotta is a chilled pudding that couldn't be easier to make—just whirl everything together, transfer to individual serving vessels, and chill until it sets. This one gets topped with figs and honey. Feel free to add chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch if you're so inclined.