Grilled figs with rosemary and honey

Single-source honey rules!The fresh fig season never happens when I want it to. Of course, that is because I would prefer for it to happen all year round, even though I know that goes against my entire philosophy of seasonal eating.

Fresh figs rule. If your only figgy experience has been of the Newton variety, I remain sad for you. This is why I don’t even blink at paying $4.99 for a teeny box of fat, fresh figs at my local Co-op. I buy them happily, take them home and devour them, either straight up or tossed with a little bit of blue cheese.

This week, I noticed both fresh Mission and fresh Calmyrna figs on the Co-op shelves. This is a dilemma. Go purply-brown? Go green? Because decadence aside, I couldn’t cotton to paying $9.98 for two boxes, especially when the figs go bad so very quickly. It was critical that I only buy what I could consume.

I went with the Calmyrna variety, just because it is so much rare that I find them. And Tuesday night, I settled in for a long night of vegetable grilling–suddenly the zucchini explosion is upon me and something had to be done about that–and then gave the figs a turn on the grill for good measure. I wanted to go for a little bit of caramelization and just enough heat to soften the fruit’s flesh without mushing it.

As for serving? I am in possession of an excellent jar of single-source alfalfa honey from a hive in Minnesota, and my rosemary is happily plugging away. The combination of sweet and woodsy made the figs even more sexy than they already were on their own.

Do not let the fig season pass you by, people. If you have a shred of good eating sense in you, plunk down the money and fire up the grill. I swear: this recipe could not be easier, nor more delectable.

Figs with rosemary and honeyGrilled Figs with Rosemary and Honey
(Serves two)

6 fresh, whole figs, trimmed and halved (I used Calmyrna, but Mission would be great, too)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

  1. Grill the figs over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once midway through.
  2. Divide between two plates. Drizzle one Tbsp. of honey over each plate of figs, then top each with a Tbsp. of the chopped rosemary.
  3. Serve. Eat. Sigh.

This is my contribution to this week’s edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, which will be hosted this week by WHB founder Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen. Stop by later this week to tell her hello and check out the full round-up of recipes.

26 Responses to “Grilled figs with rosemary and honey”

  1. 1 Kalyn August 3, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Oh my. Now I am going to have to confess that I haven’t ever eaten fresh figs. I don’t know if I’ve even seen them for sale here, but they must be. Will have to look for some. I do love the dried mission figs, but this sounds even better.

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener August 3, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Kalyn, the season is absurdly short (sadly for everyone, really), and usually there are just a few boxes in the produce section. The fresh ones go bad if you blink at them wrong — they’re like fresh raspberries that way — so check them carefully through the box and make sure you’re not buying mushy ones. But I encourage you to go on a hunt, and now is definitely the time!

  3. 3 Me August 4, 2007 at 5:57 am

    These sound absolutely scrumptious. I think I should buy some figs again – it has been awhile.

  4. 4 steven August 4, 2007 at 8:07 am

    I had a Mission Fig tree in California and it was a real luxury. I think I’ll try this and pair it with some grilled lamb.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener August 4, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Me, I definitely recommend it!

    Steven, that sounds like a fabulous combination — droolworthy, to be sure!

  6. 6 kate August 4, 2007 at 10:57 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever eaten fresh figs. These look delicious … the honey would only make them better!

  7. 7 Katiez August 4, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Okay, okay, you’ve convinced me! Tomorrow I’ll pick some figs and give this a try. We have 2 fig trees and I’ve done nothing with them… I find them to be a bit too sweet for my taste. On the other hand, so many people rave about them and I hate to see anything go to waste… One more try…
    Please don’t hate me… I’ll try this, promise!

    • 8 Randal Byrd July 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

      We ignored our fig tree for years after moving to Houston. But then, we began eating fresh figs, and now we also preserve them. The canned preserves make wonderful gifts. Enjoy.

  8. 9 Tiya August 4, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    At my work right now we have Mission Fig Gelato– a popular flavor! It’s only out for a short while though, as figs don’t stay in season long.

  9. 10 Robin (Bumblebee) August 5, 2007 at 6:51 am

    My only experience with figs–aside from the dried figs I use in cooking from time to time–were the mushy fits from my grandmother’s prized fig trees. They reminded me in appearance and texture of buggers. I couldn’t quite get past that to think about the taste!

    MAYBE, based on your recommendation, I will try again!

    –Robin (Bumblebee)

  10. 11 inadvertentgardener August 5, 2007 at 8:36 am

    Kate, they’re definitely worth a try!

    Katiez, two trees and you’ve done nothing? Yikes! Report back when you try it out — I’m curious to see what you think!

    Tiya, that gelato sounds absolutely heavenly…wow…

    Robin, I don’t like them when they’re really mushy, either. You want them to be pretty firm — delicate, but firm.

  11. 12 Gemma August 5, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Wow, honey and figs. That sounds great. My boyfriend and I have been meaning to buy some figs, I think they might turn into this dish when they do! It was lovely to meet you. Take care.

  12. 13 valwebb August 5, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing it.

  13. 14 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 6:25 am

    Gemma, it was great to meet you, too! I hope you guys enjoy the recipe.

    Valwebb, you’re quite welcome — I hope you enjoy it!

  14. 15 frank August 6, 2007 at 7:50 am


    I’ve had a similar recipe where you halve the figs as you’ve done, cut a ‘+’ across the open face of each half, then gently squeeze the skin side and put a bit of your favorite blue cheese in the center of the “+”. Grill or broil and drizzle with honey. Yum!

    The fig season is lamentably short. Last year, we had fresh “brown turkey” figs from our tree for only about three weeks, and we canned the majority of the 21 pounds of fruit it yielded, which we couldn’t manage to eat fresh in those three weeks. So far, chutney is our favorite – it goes really well on grilled pork, fish, and even chicken. The season just started up yesterday, with about a dozen ripe and a tree-full to go!

  15. 16 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Frank, that sounds absolutely delightful…I’ve crumbled the blue cheese atop the figs before, but have never stuffed them with it…I’m definitely going to have to try that.

    I am a huge fan of fig chutney — I agree — it goes well with everything. And fig jam on a hot croissant…yum!

    Have you guys ever tried drying them?

  16. 17 frank August 6, 2007 at 9:35 am


    We haven’t tried drying them yet, but drying is an approach we talked about this weekend. Our three year old really likes dried fruit and we’ve got plenty of it to experiment! We may also try fig wine. I’ve got the necessary kit from my beer-making hobby, and the process seems pretty similar.

  17. 18 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Ooh…fig wine…yum! I’m not a huge fan of fruit wines, but in moderation, they can be good. And I bet fig wine might not even be tasty as a drinkable item, but also a pretty fabulous braising liquid for pork or chicken.

    Man…I totally need to get myself a fig tree…

  18. 19 Helene August 7, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Thanks for sharing, there´s a fig tree in the neighbourhood.. and many on our local market. so I hope it stops raining and we´ll start grilling again. :)

  19. 20 inadvertentgardener August 7, 2007 at 5:37 am

    Helene, I’m wishing for blue skies for you so you can get to those figs!

  20. 21 Claire August 7, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Figs are such a beautiful fruit – I can’t believe I hadn’t discovered them until recently! Being a fan of the “newton” variety, I was shocked to discover that the fresh deal had little resemblance to my brown pasty fruit and cake concoction. I am off to scour the markets and find some to go with my yogurt and honey.

  21. 22 inadvertentgardener August 7, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Claire, go forth and scour! They’re so fabulous…don’t miss them!

  22. 23 Jokiwi July 13, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Lucky me…I live in a small village in Italy, and when figs are in season, as they are now, they are PLENTIFUL! We have two crates of them in the cantina right now. My mother-in-law makes fig jam, which we eat with a spoon…never makes it to the bread! We grill them with blue cheese on top, have them for breakfast, after lunch and dinner, and finally…as we walk down the road to the bakery, we marvel at the sweet sticky mess of “squashed figs on the ground” from someone’s tree, which remain unpicked, uneaten, unloved, unappreciated!
    There are two types here, I guess. The ones which are ripe now are “Saint somebody-or-other” as they ripen around that saint’s day (could get up and look at the name on the calender, but too tired), and the others towards the end of summer.
    Gotta love figs!

  23. 24 Diane July 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I have a Calmyrna fig tree in my yard in New Jersey, just a few miles from Manhattan and the first figs were ready this morning so we had some for breakfast. I was searching for a recipe, wanting to grill the figs with the pork loins I have for dinner and this recipe was perfect, thanks!!!!

  24. 25 Sarita July 14, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Ever since I moved into this house, which has a bountiful Calmyrna Fig Tree, I have always wondered more things I can do with them. I have been drying them and making Fig Pastelitos or we just eat them straight off the tree. Thanks for the creative idea. I have all 3 ingredients and it is getting close to fig harvest. Many thanks!

  25. 26 inadvertentgardener July 16, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Jokiwi, that fig jam sounds amazing! You’re so lucky to have so much access to good figs.

    Diane, did you try it? Hope it turned out well!

    Sarita, I had a really great salad last night that was spinach, goat cheese, fresh figs and thinly sliced onion with a sherry vinaigrette — you might try using them that way, too. It was so delicious!

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