How to make the most of seasonal fig

Published on 22 February 2019 by Liz Macri, Kitchen Ink

The Season for fresh figs is between summer and autumn, so start looking out for them.

Figs can be eaten peeled or unpeeled; this really depends on personal preference and the thickness of the figs skin. Figs are generally eaten whole, halved, quartered or sliced as when they are very ripe, they can become difficult to cut and chop.

Figs are full of fiber at around 2 grams per fig and also contain B6 and potassium; all great for keeping you feeling and looking good!

Just a quick note about dried figs, always store them in an airtight container, either in a cool, dark place, or in the refrigerator. Buy dried figs that are slightly soft to the touch.

Buying and storage

Select figs that are plump and tender. Look for figs that are free from bruises, splits or soft spots. The outer skin should have a deep colour and rich sweet fragrance. Store unwashed ripe figs in the refrigerator, in an airtight container until ready to eat. Generally, eat ripe figs within 2 days. When ready to eat, wash figs briefly under cold water. If figs are under-ripe, keep them at room temperature until they ripen, which should happen fairly quickly (within a few days).

Goes well with..

Cheeses: goat’s cheese, blue cheese, brie, cheddar, smoked cheddar, ricotta, cream cheese and cottage cheese.

Cured meats: bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, salami, mortadella and ham.

Condiments: red wine, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, honey, maple syrup, filo pastry, puff pastry and caramel.

Spices: Vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, mixed spice, allspice and saffron.

Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia, pistachios and walnuts.

Other Fruits: Pears, oranges, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, lemons and watermelon.

Easy ideas for figs

Fig flatbreadTop a store-bought pizza base or flatbread with a handful of pizza cheese. Top with prosciutto slices. Scatter with a little more pizza cheese. Top with wedges of fresh figs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until base is crispy and cheese melts. Serve topped with baby rocket leaves and a few toasted pine nuts. 

Fig breakfast bruschetta – Toast some crusty sourdough or fruit bread. Smear one side of the bread with cream cheese. Top with fresh fig slices, a few fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Scatter with toasted pepita seeds to serve.

Baked figs with ricotta and honey – Quarter figs, without cutting all the way through. Place figs in a small baking dish. Spoon a small amount of ricotta into the cut fig quarters. Drizzle generously with honey. Scatter with flaked almonds. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.