Our Favorite Fig Recipes

Sweet and savory ways to make the most of this fall essential

In season beginning in late summer, fig recipes provide a bridge between light warm-weather meals and the heartier preparations we crave in fall. Figs are great in spreads. Paired with salty, briny olives, their sweet, earthy flavor is a natural complement to cheese. Fresh figs are around for too little time, but dried figs, available year-round, are also delicious. We've rounded up our favorite fresh and dried fig recipes.

Goat Cheese Crostini with Fig-Olive Tapenade

Goat Cheese Crostini with Fig-Olive Tapenade
Goat Cheese Crostini with Fig-Olive TapenadeSigne Birck

A tangy-sweet tapenade made with dried figs, kalamata olives, and capers is the perfect foil for mild goat cheese in this easy appetizer. Get the recipe for Goat Cheese Crostini with Fig-Olive Tapenade »

The Arab Spring
Pomegranate Fig SmashAndre Baranowski

This irreverently named cocktail, composed of grenadine, cardamom, fresh mint, and boukha, a Tunisian fig distillate, comes from Casino de Paris. Located in a former brothel that's tucked into a courtyard in Jerusalem's central market, Machane Yehuda, Casino de Paris boasts some of the holy city's most stupendous sips. Get the recipe for Pomegranate Fig Smash »

Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig Sauce

Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig Sauce

Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig SauceMatt Taylor-Gross

Mustard-and-herb-marinated quail gets a quick sauté for this earthy dish and is served with poached beets and a sweet-tart fig and ruby port sauce. Adapted from a recipe by chef Stuart Bell of Ten Minutes by Tractor in Mornington Peninsula, Australia, the dish has black barley, a variety with the bran still attached to the wheat kernel. Get the recipe for Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig Sauce »

Carrot and Pistachio Salad

Carrot and Pistachio Salad

Carrot and Pistachio SaladMatt Taylor-Gross

Carrots are roasted before being topped with crunchy pistachios and a sweet fig vinaigrette in a simple salad from Eli and Max Sussman's Classic Recipes for Modern People (Olive Press, 2015). Get the recipe for Carrot and Pistachio Salad »

Dried Fig Compote
Dried Fig CompoteNicole Franzen

This preserve is a balm for those mourning the passing of summer's fleeting fresh fig season. It can be made any time of year and has a deep, sophisticated flavor. It's best served with stinky cheeses, though some also enjoy it drizzled over steel cut oats on chilly mornings. Get the recipe for Dried Fig Compote »

Robiola-Stuffed Figs with Pomegranate

Robiola-Stuffed Figs with Pomegranate
Robiola-Stuffed Figs with PomegranateMaxime Iattoni

Pungent Robiola cheese can be substituted with brie, ricotta, or any other soft cheese in this simple no-cook appetizer. Get the recipe for Robiola-Stuffed Figs with Pomegranate »

Fruit Cake Clafoutis
Fruit Cake ClafoutisMatt Taylor-Gross

Clafoutis is a French dessert that's trickier to pronounce than to make. A simple mixture of flour, eggs, dairy, and a little sugar, it's like a pancake, but more custardy, and it's baked instead of griddled. It looks and tastes impressive the way classic French desserts often do, but it's simple enough to whip up any weeknight. Rum-soaked dried apricots, figs, and raisins add their caramelized and honeyed flavors to this creamy version, perfect for cold weather when there's no fresh fruit around. Get the recipe for Dried Apricot and Fig Clafoutis With Rum »

Madison Square
Madison SquareFarideh Sadeghin

This Manhattan variation is given a deep, complex sweetness by homemade fig syrup. Get the recipe for Madison Square »