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For some unknown reason, I am very much into pickling things right now. I can’t explain it. Ever since I pickled onions last weekend, everywhere I look, I wonder, “how would that be pickled?” Today, it’s figs. I had heard of a restaurant in Seattle where the chef is also big into pickling and she pickles figs, so I gave it a try. Big success – they are amazing. 

So far I have tried my version of pickled figs atop vanilla ice cream, alongside or poured over fresh goat cheese (the pink-tinted goat cheese above is Shiraz flavored from Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry, AZ), and finally with rosemary grilled flank steak – all fabulous! Once you use up the figs, be sure to use the remaining fig syrup (pickling liquid) to make delicious salad dressings – just whisk in olive oil and herbs, to taste.

I have a Kadota fig tree in my yard which produces twice a year, so my friends can expect pickled figs for Christmas gifts in December! I actually prefer Black Mission figs to Kadota, so I’ve made a half and half mixture of them here. Mission figs are the type you’ll most easily find in stores right now. Dried figs may be substituted for the fresh ones when they are out of season.

The rosemary used to pickle the figs goes from gorgeous green to nasty black quickly, so strain it out and add fresh sprigs when you’re ready to jar them. *Additionally, I used some wonderful Queen Creek Fig Balsamic from the Queen Creek Olive Mill, You can substitute either an additional 1/4 cup of red wine or regular balsamic vinegar if you don’t have the QC variety. I’m not big into canning, so I just made a small batch (1 jar) and will use them up in the 2 or 3 weeks. But feel free to “put them up” if you have a bunch of figs and are into canning. If you want to learn more about canning, here are canning instructions and guidelines.

Pickled Figs

1 cup sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Queen Creek Fig Balsamic Vinegar
(*see the note above)
1 cup water
10 large sprigs fresh rosemary, divided
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh figs
(Mission, Kadota, or a mix of both)

Remove the stems and cut half of the figs in half. Leave the remaining figs whole.

Combine the sugar, all of the vinegars, water, 6 of the rosemary sprigs, and salt in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the halved figs and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the whole figs and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove whole figs with a slotted spoon and place all figs and the remaining fresh rosemary sprigs in a wide mouth jar.

Strain the vinegar liquid over the figs in the jar. Seal and refrigerate. Use within three weeks.

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1 Marissa { 07.23.10 at 11:28 AM }

That cheese and fig spread looks delicious! I want some now.

2 Sloane { 07.23.10 at 3:31 PM }

I will be looking for mine this x-mas! Remember that fig newtons were my favorite cookie growing up?

3 Linda Hopkins { 07.24.10 at 1:53 PM }

I do remember that, Sloane… you were one strange kid!

4 easy-breezy pork — Les Petites Gourmettes { 08.05.10 at 10:28 AM }

[…] cup chopped pickled figs, with juices * 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon sriracha (rooster) chili sauce 1 tablespoon soy sauce Two pork […]

5 extravagance and a new puppy! — Les Petites Gourmettes { 09.07.10 at 10:27 AM }

[…] olive oil 4 thick boneless beef rib-eye steaks 2 medium ripe peaches, halved and pitted 6 fresh or pickled figs Salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 ounces gorgonzola, […]

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