What’s in season: Fig season is short, appearing for just a few weeks during the hot summer months. While there are many varieties of figs, the fruit — actually, a fig is an inverted flower — can be divided into two classes: green and black. Here in California, black figs, including smaller Mission and larger, paler Brown Turkey, are most often eaten fresh, as they’re generally sweeter and have a more pronounced flavor. Green figs such as Adriatic and Tiger are also prized for their fresh flavor, though Kadota, the most common green fig, has a thicker skin with an often bland flavor, and is best saved for drying or canning.
What to cook: Fresh or dried, figs have a distinctive crunch, owing to the many seeds trapped in the center . Ripe, flavorful figs are best enjoyed fresh, eaten as a quick snack or chopped and added to salads or used as a garnish. Throw them on the grill, charring the sugar in fresh figs for caramelized notes and deeper flavor. Figs also work well in jams or as a quick summer pickle. Use dried figs in quick breads and other baked goods.
What’s on the horizon: Tomatoes are showing up in force, thanks to the hotter weather, with a variety of colorful heirloom large and cherry tomatoes filling stands.