In season beginning in late summer, figs provide a bridge between light warm-weather meals and the heartier preparations we crave in fall. Fresh figs are around for too little time, but dried figs, available year-round, are also delicious. We've rounded up our favorite recipes for fresh and dried figs.
Figs are great in spreads. Paired with salty, briny olives, their sweet, earthy flavor is a natural complement to cheese. Our basic fig-olive tapenade with capers, balsamic vinegar, and thyme is a wonderful topping for crostini when paired with goat cheese. For an extra umami kick, anchovies are a great addition to a tapenade. For something sweeter, our fig compote is flavored with bourbon, star anise, and cardamom. It's a perfect foil to stinky cheeses.
Figs also make great sauces. Our sweet and sour fig gastrique with honey and orange juice is an ideal accompaniment to grilled quail or roast duck. Or try a salad of pistachios and roasted carrots dressed with a fig vinaigrette.
Keep figs in mind next time you want to mix up a cocktail. Our Madison Avenue Manhattan combines bourbon with an aquavit made with figs and cardamom, while our Madison Square is a Manhattan variation sweetened with a fig syrup.
Find these dishes and more in our collection of rich fig recipes.