Forget about dried figs. If you've ever had fresh figs, you know there's a world of difference. Sweet and honeyed with an unusual texture, fresh figs are to be savored like the special fruits they are. (After all, they were thought to be foods of the gods.) Eaten right out of hand figs are delicious, but using them in recipes is another smart way to enjoy the delicate and often scarce summer fruit.
When you see figs in the supermarket or farmer's market (no matter the variety), grab them up. They're typically hard to find, but their season is long enough (from late summer into fall) that you may find them available in intervals. What we know as figs, the fruit, is actually called the infructescence, which is basically the flower of the plant. These "flowers" are very delicate as you can imagine and are difficult to ship. The figs you buy may not always look perfect, so it's okay if they don't look it. A bit of crackly skin is fine, but stay away from figs that are too mushy, oozy or obviously moldy. A sign of a perfectly ripe fig is when you see a bit of bend in the stem and feel the skin is supple. When you get them home, keep them at room temperature for best flavor and eat them within two days.
Fig, Gorgonzola And Honey Tartines
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2012/04/recipe-gluten-free-fig-gorgonzola-honey.html" target="_hplink">Fig, Gorgonzola, and Honey Tartines recipe from Tartelette </a></strong> These open-faced sandwiches are made by topping baguette slices with pungent Gorgonzola, fresh figs and thyme. Then they're broiled just until the cheese melts. Before serving, drizzle with honey.
Orange And Cardamom Spiced, Honeyed Fig, Olive Oil Tea Cake
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.willcookforfriends.com/2012/07/orange-cardamom-spiced-honeyd-fig-olive.html" target="_hplink">Orange and Cardamom Spiced, Honeyed Fig, Olive Oil Tea Cake recipe from Will Cook for Friends</a></strong> This upside-down tea cake starts with layering fig slices in the bottom of a cake pan. The batter is dense and moist from olive oil and richly flavored with orange and cardamom. Serve with coffee or tea.
Fig Relish And Ham Sandwich
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/fig-relish-and-ham-sandwi_n_1061271.html" target="_hplink">Fig Relish and Ham Sandwich recipe</a></strong> What could make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich better? Fig relish. The tangy fig relish includes dry mustard and mustard seeds, which make it the perfect savory condiment for sandwiches or serving alongside cheese.
Gateau De Riz Aux Figues
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2011/08/recipe-gluten-free-fig-gateau-de-riz.html" target="_hplink">Gateau De Riz Aux Figues recipe from Tartelette</a></strong> This cake is a cross between a rice pudding and a super dense cake -- that's because it's made from rice boiled in coconut milk. The figs form a pretty topping that caramelizes in the oven.
Chévre, Arugula And Fig Pizza
<strong>Get the <a href="http://wholefamilyfare.blogspot.com/2011/09/figs.html" target="_hplink">Chévre, Arugula and Fig Pizza recipe from Whole Family Fare</a></strong> This pizza recipe starts with a spelt crust that's partially baked before adding a combination of farmer's cheese and goat's cheese and then finishing in the oven. Let it cool slightly before topping with arugula and fresh figs.
Poached Figs With Blackberries
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/30/poached-figs-with-blackbe_n_1391465.html" target="_hplink">Poached Figs with Blackberries recipe</a></strong> For an easy dessert, try poaching figs in the slow cooker. The figs simmer in a strained blackberry puree, turning them a pretty purple. Serve warm with a dollop of creme fraiche.
Fig, Gorgonzola And Prosciutto Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.theculinarychase.com/2007/08/fig-gorgonzola-and-prosciutto-salad.html" target="_hplink">Fig, Gorgonzola and Prosciutto Salad recipe from The Culinary Chase</a></strong> Sweet figs and savory prosciutto make a unique combination atop a bed of salad greens with crumbled blue cheese. Feel free to use peppery watercress or arugula.
Raspberry And Fig Cake
Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/raspberry-and-fig-cake_n_1058637.html" target="_hplink">Raspberry and Fig Cake recipe</a> Serve a slice of this Scandinavian fig- and raspberry-studded cake with a glass of dessert wine. It's the perfect way to end an elegant dinner.
Cold Almond And Garlic Soup With Figs And Marcona Almonds
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/cold-almond-and-garlic-so_n_1061325.html" target="_hplink">Cold Almond and Garlic Soup with Figs and Marcona Almonds</a></strong> This almond, garlic and bread soup from southern Spain is a precursor to the famous cold soup gazpacho. It features a beautiful topping of fresh figs and sweet Marcona almonds.
Crostata Di Fichi
<strong>Get the <a href="http://karmacucina.com/fig-tart/" target="_hplink">Crostata di Fichi recipe from Karma Cucina</a> </strong> This elegant fig tart features a frangipane filling (of ground almonds, sugar, eggs and amaretto liqueur) that's topped with luscious fresh figs. Once it's done baking, brush it with honey syrup.
Quinoa, Sweet Peppers And Fig Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/quinoa-sweet-peppers-an_n_1151659.html" target="_hplink">Quinoa, Sweet Peppers ans Fig Salad recipe</a></strong> This healthy grain salad feature a medley of bell peppers, sweet figs, carrots and a bright citrus vinaigrette. It makes a very refreshing side dish for summer.
Iced Honey Mascarpone And Almond Cake With Fig Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.gourmetrecepies.com/2011/03/iced-honey-mascarpone-and-almond-cake.html" target="_hplink">Iced Honey Mascarpone and Almond Cake with Fig Salad recipe from Gourmet Recipes</a></strong> This towering cake is made up of layers of almond cake that's frosted with a honey and mascarpone cream. Freeze the cake overnight to ensure it firms up. To serve, top with fresh figs macerated in amaretto.
Roasted Figs With Concord Grape Sauce
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/roasted-figs-with-concord_n_1059486.html" target="_hplink">Roasted Figs with Concord Grape Sauce recipe</a></strong> This unique dish is a play on flavors: tangy Concord grape sauce, sweet figs and pungent brie cheese. Roast the figs just until the cheese topping melts and serve.
Pistachio Yogurt Cake
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/pistachio-yoghurt-cake_n_1519462.html" target="_hplink">Pistachio Yogurt Cake recipe</a></strong> Thanks to a generous amount of Greek yogurt, this pistachio cake is super moist and dense. A topping of fresh figs and honey is the perfect way to serve a slice.
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