I picked up too many figs and pears at the farmers market, but they were so gorgeous I couldn’t resist. So I came up with a way to use them in a salad of smoked chicken with a dressing of balsamic vinegar and Port, a wonderful accompaniment to the fruit.
Fresh figs are very perishable and bruise easily, so handle them with care. Cover and refrigerate them no longer than two to three days. Underripe fruit can be held at room temperature out of direct light; just turn it frequently as it ripens. Pears will ripen at room temperature, but you can speed the process by placing them in a paper bag.
If you’re like me, though, and end up with too much fruit, pop the pears into the refrigerator until two or three days before you need them, then set them on the counter to ripen.