27 Best Fig Recipes (+Produce Guide)
Celebrate fig season with 27 of the Best Fig Recipes! Post includes everything you need to know about figs, along with recipes such as fig jam, fig salad, baked figs and so much more!
Most people either love figs or hate them in my experience. Which side of the fence do you fall on? I’ll admit, the only exposure I’d had to figs growing up was in Fig Newtons (which I loved), and I didn’t try fresh figs until about 10 years ago.
My grandmother is the reason that I tried figs, plain and simple. She tried to get me to try them over the years, but I would wrinkle up my nose and politely decline. Fresh figs looked so soft and squishy…I wasn’t sure I would like the texture.
My grandmother became terminally ill and on a visit a few weeks before she died, I finally gave in when she offered me a fig. I fell in love with them on the spot and wished I’d tried them sooner.
I’m so glad that I shared that with my grandmother, and now whenever I eat fresh figs, I always think of her.
Now I look forward to fig season each and every year, and find that the season is far too short. I can’t get enough, and I love incorporating them into sweet and savory dishes all season long.
I hope this collection of some of the best fig recipes will inspire you to try them in new ways. And I for one learned a lot doing research for the produce guide portion of this post. I had no idea how figs were pollinated….more on that below. 🙂
Figs are small, delicate fruits that are pear shaped with thin, almost velvety skin. They’re very soft when ripe, and the flesh of the fig is deep pinkish-red and contains several small, crunchy seeds.
There are several varieties of figs, including Brown Turkey (shown in the photos here), as well as Black Mission, Calimyrna and Sierra. The latter two varietals are green in color.
Remove the stem, then wash the fig under running water and pat dry. You can eat the entire fig, skin and all!
Figs are very sweet with floral notes. The flavor varies slightly depending on the variety.
I never knew how figs were pollinated until I researched the topic. I knew that figs are inverted flowers, which is why the inside of the fig contains crunchy seeds.
What I didn’t know before was that fresh figs are male and female, and we only eat the females. It only gets stranger from here, I promise you. 🙂
Fig wasps are solely responsible for fig pollination, and female figs are the only way for fig wasps to reproduce. This is called mutuality….figs and fig wasps rely on one another to survive.
Because the fig is an inverted flower, fig wasps must climb into the female fig to pollinate it. In the process, its wings and antennae break off while climbing inside, which means there’s no way out and it dies inside.
And it keeps getting stranger….
Female fig wasps lay their eggs inside the fig, then the male and female babies hatch and mate with one another. The male baby wasps aren’t born with wings, and their role is to dig tunnels to the outside of the fig for the females. The female baby wasps then make the journey out with the pollen from the fig, and the male dies inside.
TMI? Quite possibly. I’ll never think of a fig the same way again after learning all of this, but I’ll continue to eat them. 🙂
The good news is that most commercially grown figs don’t require pollination!
As I mentioned, commercial figs (or common figs) don’t require pollination, but there’s always a chance that a fig wasp could have crawled into your fig.
The fig does use an enzyme called ficin to break down the wasp into protein, but not necessarily all of it. With that in mind, I’d have to say that figs aren’t vegan.
Common fig trees are the best fig trees for home gardeners because they don’t require a flower to pollinate. Trees should be planted in early spring or late fall in full sun when the tree is dormant.
Fig trees grow best in warmer climates, but may also be planted in containers which can be moved indoors during colder months.
Fig trees may take up to two years to produce fruit.
For more info, click here.
Figs are typically harvested in June, with a second harvest between August and October.
Figs are high in natural sugars and minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. They’re also a good source of soluble fiber and vitamins A, E and K.
Choose figs that are soft but not too squishy, and avoid them if they’re bruised or wrinkled.
They’re extremely perishable, so store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within a day or two or make them into jam!
I’m so glad you asked! I’ve shared my favorite fresh fig recipes below. While they’re amazing in sweet recipes like cakes, tarts and jam, I love them even more in savory recipes like salads, pizza and paired with goat cheese.
If you love produce, be sure to check out the following recipe round ups:
- Butternut squash recipes
- Cabbage recipes
- Carrot recipes
- Corn recipes
- Cranberry recipes
- Delicata squash recipes
- Leek recipes
- Fava bean recipes
- Fennel recipes
- Kabocha squash recipes
- Persimmon recipes
- Poblano pepper recipes
- Pomegranate recipes
- Radish recipes
- Rhubarb recipes
- Tomatillo recipes
- Shishito pepper recipes
- Swiss chard recipes
27 Fresh Fig Recipes to Make
If you’re new to figs or are looking for some new ways to use them, you’ll love this collection of fresh fig recipes!
Yes, figs are delicious as is, but there are countless ways to prepare them in sweet and savory recipes. Add them to cakes and tarts, transform them into jams and spreads, use them as a topping for pizza, and so much more.
Check out the following fig recipes for inspiration!
7 Comments on “27 Best Fig Recipes (+Produce Guide)”
To be honest, I’ve never had a real fig before. And like you, I’ve had fig newtons, but I don’t think those count! 🙂 Such a fun produce guide, Marcie! I love all of the different ways to use figs. Pinning a bunch of these recipes!
Dried figs are so much different so Fig Newtons didn’t prepare me for fresh figs. 🙂 I would suggest trying one of the savory recipes first…I think that’s where they really shine!
Marcie, you know how much I love figs, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this produce of the month guide! I also didn’t try figs until a few years ago and I even turned my nose up at fig newtons as a child! But as an adult, I love them! I had no idea about the pollination process and while it may have been TMI (haha!), I will block some of it out and continue to enjoy eating figs! Now I just need to get my hands on some so I can make some of those recipes you shared, including that jam! Yum!
I’m glad you enjoyed the post Leanne, and isn’t it funny how our tastes change as we get older? The pollination process took me by surprise…I had no clue! haha
I can’t even put my love for figs into words..they’re sooo amazing when they’re perfectly ripe…and so unique in both flavor and texture. This is such a beautiful, well-composed guide. You have me watering at the mouth with all these amazing recipes! Thanks so much for including a few of mine!!
I’ve only tried figs a handful of times, but I absolutely loved them when I did! I love that it was your grandmother who shared them with you. Such a sweet story. <3 I've definitely got my eye on trying that fig jam!
Thanks Sarah and I hope you get to try the jam!