Fresh figs are ripe now, and while they may be at their best eaten bare out of hand, here are some ways to incorporate them into every course of your next dinner.

One popular appetizer treatment is to stuff figs with a bit of blue, goat, or Boursin cheese. Cut an X in the top of the fig and put the cheese in the small pocket exposed by the cut. Try baking figs stuffed with goat cheese, then drizzling with honey. In a variation on the theme, Sam Fujisaka drizzles honey in the cut, shaves on Pecorino Romano, and sprinkles with torn mint leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.

Equally popular is wrapping figs with prosciutto and blasting with heat. Stuff with a dab of pungent cheese or foie gras, wrap in prosciutto, and broil for a few minutes. Or wrap (stuffed with cheese or not), skewer, brush with balsamic vinegar, and grill.

moh loves a salad idea from the cookbook Truly Italian, by Ursula Ferrigno: Mix 1/2 pound arugula and 6 to 8 quartered fresh figs, and dress with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 to 3 tablespoons best-quality extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.

For main dishes, figs are a great match with chicken, and HillJ recommends this pasta salad with figs. Or try adding them to a pizza with caramelized onions and good fontina after it’s cooked, suggests kolgrim.

For dessert, stuff figs with mascarpone and drizzle with honey; thinly slice and arrange over a lemon tart or plain cheesecake; grill whole and serve over frozen yogurt; dip in bittersweet chocolate and drizzle with crème anglaise.

lizzieb, who had five fig trees in her yard, notes that any figs that start to go bad before you can eat them make a great meat tenderizer.

Board Link: Fresh Fig Ideas?

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