Fresh Figs with Ricotta and Honey

Fresh figs are paired with luscious ricotta cheese, dulcet honey, and pistachio crumbs in this decadent but healthy starter. It works equally well as dessert.–Leah Koenig

LC Fresh Figs! Fresh Figs! Note

We feel fresh figs are worth celebrating—or at least doing a happy dance over—each time we spy them, given how short their season and how utterly irresistible some of us find the unspeakably sweet fruit. But fresh figs alone, while stunning if savored by just you in the kitchen, isn’t exactly what you want to serve guests. Enter this easy, elegant little something that we think would be lovely in any of many slightly different incarnations. We wouldn’t mess with the honey. But we can see the fresh figs topped with, say, with crushed or chopped almonds in place of pistachios. Or maybe even uber expensive Marconas. We can also imagine a little chopped chocolate, whether milk or dark, finding its way into the ricotta that gets tucked into those plump, velvety fresh figs punctuated by a bazillion seeds and dribbled with an indecent amount of honey. Or not. And if we really get to thinking, we can almost imagine the fresh figs not stuffed with ricotta or dribbled with honey but cloaked in Nutella. But we digress….

Fresh Figs With Ricotta and Honey Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh figs
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons honey or agave nectar, plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped

Directions

  • 1. Using a sharp knife, split each fig down the middle from the top (tapered stem end) to the bottom (plump broad end), but without cutting all the way through the fig (stop about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the fig).
  • 2. Using the tip of a teaspoon, fill the split center of each fig with a generous dollop of ricotta.
  • 3. Scatter the pistachios in a shallow bowl or on a small plate. Drizzle the honey on a small plate. Gently grasp each fig without squeezing it and dip its bottom first in the honey, then in the pistachios. Arrange the figs on a large plate or serving platter. Drizzle the figs with additional honey to taste and sprinkle with the fresh mint. Serve as soon as you can (as if you could resist doing anything else).
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Tamiko Lagerwaard

Sep 20, 2011

I went all out and made my own ricotta for this, and was I ever glad I did. What a difference this makes from the dry-ish, pebbly, store-bought ricotta, which would never had done this dish justice. Smooth, creamy, and rich, it just melted in the mouth along with the fig. Since it wasn’t specified, I went with salted pistachios to contrast against the sweetness of the figs; I quite liked this, and I think the plain pistachios would seem bland comparatively. A bit of grated dark chocolate somehow found it’s way into the ricotta, and it, too was a welcome contrast to the sweetness of the fig and honey. This dessert certainly supports the claims that figs are a fruit of seduction. I’m certainly won over.

Testers Choice
Pat Francis

Sep 20, 2011

These are absolutely lovely — a great use of fresh figs. All of the flavors and textures work well together. I might use a little less honey the next time. Once I was up to drizzling 3 tablespoons, it really seemed like more than enough. This was wonderful on a platter with goat cheese rolled in fresh herbs and slices of fresh bread.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

Sep 20, 2011

A delicious and simple little treat. Next time, I might use salted nuts. Be sure you have ripe, flavorful figs, since there are so few ingredients.

Comments
Comments
  1. sara says:

    Lovely! These figs look luscious and so delicious!

  2. Lori says:

    I am so happy to see this recipe and can hardly wait to try it out this week. It looks fabulous:-)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      It’s a keeper, Lori! We’ll be waiting to hear how you like it….

      • Lori says:

        I decided to give this a go and had it earlier today. I am so glad I found this recipe. First impressions mean everything. That is what grabs a person. Your photo drew me in and the ingredients list was short and to the point…and oh, so good. I put everything together and took my first bite and loved it! My soul did a happy dance. This will be a keeper for the rest of my life and one I will share with others.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Perhaps the loveliest comment ever, Lori. “My soul did a happy dance.” Funny, my soul has quite the similar reaction to fresh figs. We’re touched that something we shared could have such a memorable effect, and appreciate you letting us know.

  3. Patty K says:

    Could you tell me which variety of figs are most tasty? I don’t have any experience with fresh figs and would love to try this recipe.

    Thanks

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Oooh, Patty K, that could get me in trouble, seeing as fig selection is largely a matter of personal preference. Rather than say which variety is tastiest, I’ll try to explain in more objective terms and let you decide…Black Mission are purplish in hue and bear an intensely honeyed sweetness. Calimyrna are brownish or pale green in color and fruitier in flavor with a less intense fig flavor. And white figs, which seem something of a misnomer given that they’re actually a soft shade of green, are sweetly figgy in flavor. Does that help? Do let us know which you choose….

      • Karen says:

        We have beautifully ripe “Brown Turkey” figs in our local Farmers Markets right now. I imagine they would be fabulous (can’t try it because we ate them all up the minute I got home so it will have to wait till Weds. when I can get more)…

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Those will be perfect in this recipe, Karen. Absolutely perfect. I’m swooning just thinking about just how perfect they’ll be….

          • Karen says:

            Over the years I’ve always been a little surprised with how people react to figs – either love them or hate them! We love them… And we’re lucky to live in an area where many different varieties are grown – Yum!

    • Lindsay Myers says:

      Patty K, I agree with Renee about taste. But I can tell you that if you’re looking for a particularly pretty fig, Candy Stripes are just darling. They look like little green and yellow striped hot air balloons! And I can vouch for their tastiness, as well–they’re quite sweet, if that’s what you’re after.

  4. Silke says:

    Not just appetizer or dessert, also extremely good as breakfast. Glad I read through the reviews – added some fleur du sel which made quite a difference. I think they could even take some Marash or black or long pepper.

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