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Juicy, fiber-rich figs are delicious on their own or as an addition to recipes. We spoke with Marc Bauer, master chef at the International Culinary Center, in New York City, to help you find new ways to dig figs.
Originally brought to North America from Spain, this variety is the most common fall fig. With a sweet, earthy flavor, the Black Mission has purple-black skin and a white interior, and is harvested from mid-May through November.
GOOD FOR Adding sweetness to savory side dishes or as a topper for appetizers and desserts
TRY IT In a bowl, fold ¼ cup mascarpone cheese with ¼ cup whipped cream. Spread mixture on 4 graham crackers; top each cracker with 1 de-stemmed, halved fig.
See also How to Cook with Fresh Cherries
This fig has a pink interior with a sweet, nutty flavor and light-green to golden skin. It’s often sold dried (frequently called the Turkish fig) due to a short growing season, but can be found fresh July to September.
GOOD FOR A sweet, fiber-rich addition to smoothies or as a topper for flatbread
TRY IT Bake 4 slices pre-packaged flatbread (size: 5- by 6-inches) for 5 minutes at 375°. Split 8 oz goat cheese among slices; bake another 5 minutes. Top with 2 baked and sliced organic chicken breasts, 8 de-stemmed and quartered figs, 20 pitted olives, 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and 4 tsp olive oil.
True to their name, these figs are dark brown on the outside; inside, their rose-colored flesh is less flavorful and sweet than the Black Mission or Calimyrna. They’re available mid-May through December, thanks to this variety’s ability to grow in winter’s harsh conditions.
GOOD FOR Mildly sweet appetizers (such as in a tartine) or sweet-and-savory salads
TRY IT In a bowl, mix 2 medium cooked, diced red beets, ½ bunch sliced, de-stemmed watercress, 3 oz (3 cups) baby arugula, and 2 tbsp pistachios. Top with 8 quartered, de-stemmed figs. Drizzle with Dijon vinaigrette, and serve.