Grab a basket! It’s time to get feasting on sweet, luscious figs
Written byElaine JohnsonJuly 30, 2015
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Fresh Goat Cheese and Radicchio Salad with Figs
Show off figs’ beauty on a salad platter, and contrast their sweet, delicate flavor with slightly bitter radicchio, caramelized shallots, and syrupy saba (a concentrated syrup made from reduced wine grape juice).
One of our favorite ways to serve fresh figs—with salty sweet prosciutto and fresh herbs—is also one of the easiest. Just fan out slices of the meat with some arugula, basil, and mint, and scatter with figs. (A mix of fig colors is especially pretty.) Drizzle with good olive oil, and you’re ready to serve.
Figs in Mosto Cotto (Grape Syrup) with Fresh Ricotta
If you’re up for an adventure, homemade ricotta takes only 45 minutes to prepare, and has a sweet flavor and light texture that you just can’t buy in a tub. Top it with tender, sweet-tart simmered figs, and you have a dessert that’s far more than the sum of its parts.
Almond flour gives the crust for this torte a delicious toasted flavor, and it’s gluten-free, if that’s something you’re looking for. Once you make the crust, spoon crème fraîche over slices, add warm figs. and a drizzle of honey.
While a campfire adds a certain rustic charm to the process of cooking a big pot of ripe summer fruit with browned butter and sugar, you can easily make this recipe on a regular stove. It’s a great dessert for a party, as it makes enough for 10 to 12.
“Worth going off any diet,” says an online reader. We couldn’t agree more. Cook figs with caramelized sugar and butter until they soften, then fold the works into store-bought ice cream and freeze it until firm enough to scoop.
The rich flavors of figs and blackberries were made for each other. If you want to give them a try in jam but don’t want to make a big production out of it, this recipe makes just 3 cups and keeps in the refrigerator. (No processing required.)
Once dominated by dried fruit, California’s fig industry, centered in the Central and Coachella Valleys, now sells a number of fresh varieties as well. Each is a little different—so try them all. Fresh figs are perishable; chill, loosely wrapped, up to 3 days.
Black Mission (pictured). Purple-black skin and vermilion flesh; earthy, floral flavor.
Brown Turkey. Purple-chocolate exterior; full, fruity flavor.
Calimyrna. Pale yellow; buttery sweet, nutty flavor.
Kadota. Light green skin changes to amber as it ripens; delicate flavor.
Sierra. Another green variety; lightly aromatic with a hint of summer berries.
Tiger (aka Panache). Green stripes on the outside, red inside; berry flavors.