I only discovered fresh figs by chance in my early twenties. Having been forced to eat Fig Newtons as a school snack (grainy, sticky sweet yet musty at the same time), I always had quite bad associations with figs. After those school encounters, I would never have dreamt of going to a restaurant and torturing myself by ordering a fig tart or a goat’s cheese and fig salad.
But one day, I ordered a cheese board for brunch and was presented with a chunky oak board with five types of cheese and a fig sliced into quarters. I fell in love with the way the fig looked before I even tasted it. Since then, I have loved fresh figs, and one of my favorite ways to eat them is with a dollop of mascarpone and a drizzle of honey.
Fig season is a bit tricky because it actually has two seasons. A quick appearance in early summer (June) and then a longer stint from late summer to autumn (August to October).
When you go to buy them remember that figs don’t ripen once they are picked, so make sure you buy ripe figs (the should give just slightly under the pressure of your thumb) and eat them within a day or two.
They are very delicate and can spoil easily in transit, so check that your figs don’t have soft spots, excessive bruising, or mold on the bottom.
FIGS WITH MASCARPONE AND HONEY
- 8 ripe figs, trim off stalk if it is hard
- 8 tsp mascarpone cheese (one tsp per fig)
- Runny honey
- Gently wash and dry your figs. If the stalk is hard, trim it off.
- Cut each fig into quarters but only 2/3 of the way down (see image above).
- Gently splay the figs and fill them with 1 tsp of mascarpone cheese.
- Arrange them on a serving platter or individual plates (allow 2 figs per person).
- Drizzle with honey according to taste.
- Serve immediately.