Savory Ways to Use Figs

The seasonal fruit isn't just for dessert. Here are our favorite savory fig recipes.

Grilled Figs with Ham, Walnuts, and Mint Cream
Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer

Sweet, juicy figs are amazing for desserts like a sublime fig-caramel nut tart or French clafoutis, but that's not the only great way to use the late summer fruit. From foccacia to roast chicken, here are 10 excellent savory fig recipes.

Mission Fig, Elderberry, and Mixed Greens Salad

Mission Fig, Elderberry and Mixed Greens Salad
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

This salad of seasonal fruits, herbs, and flowers is balanced with bold leafy greens and a simple, bright lemon dressing. Both the dressing and the salad call for aromatic hummingbird sage, which is more fragrant and less bitter than other varieties. If you can't find it, common sage will also work well.

Grilled Wagyu Rib Eye with Roasted Fig Miso

Grilled Wagyu Rib Eye
Eva Kolenko

Chefs Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama give tender, marbled grilled wagyu a hit of savory, lightly sweet flavor with roasted fig miso sauce. Use leftover sauce to slather on ribs before grilling. If fresh figs are not available, use thawed frozen figs rather than dried.

Roast Chicken with Port and Figs

Chicken with Port and Figs

© Dana Gallagher

Dried figs are poached in port to make a luscious Portuguese-inspired sauce. Ruby port provides the best color, but tawny will also taste good.

Fig and Rosemary Focaccia with Pecorino

Fig-and-Rosemary Focaccia with Pecorino
© Con Poulos

Chef Marco Canora makes this focaccia with freshly milled, small-batch whole-wheat flour. The grain's mild nuttiness marries beautifully with plump dried figs, and Pecorino Romano provides a great salty contrast to the fruit's sweetness. A generous amount of olive oil ensures both a tender crumb and a crisp, golden exterior.

Gorgonzola, Fig, and Pancetta Pizza

Gorgonzola, Fig and Pancetta Pizza. Photo © Anson Smart
© Anson Smart

Since this grilled pizza has a lot going on — from creamy cheese to sweet figs — pair it with a refreshing lager, like Tasmania's James Boag's. A sparkling rosé would also work.

Anise Pork with Figs and Apples

Anise Pork with Figs and Apples
© Ashley Colbourne

The sweet licorice flavor of anise or fennel seeds adds depth to pork. For the sauce, look for dried figs that are soft and moist. If they seem very dry, soften them in hot water before cutting.

Chopped Kale Salad with Prosciutto and Figs

Chopped Kale Salad with Prosciutto and Figs
© Con Poulos

Television chef Giada De Laurentiis tops her colorful chopped salad of greens, figs, and prosciutto with shavings of Gorgonzola. She freezes the cheese first, so it's firm enough to shave, but you can always crumble it over the salad instead.

Tagliatelle with Braised Chicken and Figs

Tagliatelle with Braised Chicken and Figs
© Christina Holmes

This Spanish-inspired pasta from chef Kyle Bailey is rich and complex-tasting, thanks to a sauce made from chicken braising liquid that's reduced until silky and luscious. Finishing touches of dried figs and marcona almonds add sweetness and crunch.

Grilled Figs with Ham, Walnuts, and Mint Cream

Grilled Figs with Ham, Walnuts, and Mint Cream
Christopher Hirsheimer

Chef Frank Stitt started his culinary education by working for the late, great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France. This appetizer, in which ripe figs are stuffed with walnuts, wrapped in ham, and kissed on the grill — a riff on devils on horseback — is inspired by Olney's love of seasonal ingredients.

Pickled Figs in Balsamic Vinegar

Pickled Figs in Balsamic Vinegar
© Young & Hungry

This recipe creates both fig-flavored balsamic vinegar and tangy pickled figs. To guarantee that the fruit remains whole, use firm figs instead of very ripe ones. Pickled figs are great with grilled pork chops, roast leg of lamb, or roast chicken.

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