Picking up a basket of fresh figs never ceases to feel like a treat. Here in the Northeast, they have two short seasons each year: first in early summer and again in late summer to early fall. Since they aren’t around for long, I’m quick to pick up a basket or two as soon as I spot them. And despite anxiously awaiting their arrival, each year I still wonder about what to do with figs. I want to make the most of my haul.
Fresh figs have a sweet, honeyed fragrance and soft, jammy texture, which make them a lovely snack on their own, yet it’s quite easy to partner figs with other foods like sharp cheese, tangy yogurt, and dark chocolate. They’re a delicate fruit with a short shelf life, so you’ll want to handle them with care and eat them within a few days. To help extend their shelf life it’s a good idea to transfer them from the basket and store figs in a single layer on a plate or shallow bowl in the fridge.
While fresh figs are irresistible eaten raw, they take quite well to being caramelized on the stovetop, being baked, and even grilled. Here are 14 fig recipes and ideas to make the most of the season.