When I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart's Cooking School I thought I would hate it. Why ruin a good thing? Why cover a complex flavor with port and balsamic? I agonized over this as I tossed figs in the sugar and salt mixture. It turns out  it was a whole lotta' agonizing for nothing. These figs are even more complex, deep, and easily parable with bread, cheese, or ice cream.  Caramelize the figs. Add the port. Don't turn back.

Caramelized Figs via Martha Stewart's Cooking School 


  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 pint fresh figs
  • 1/4 c port or balsamic vinegar
  • 2T butter
  • Lemon juice

Directions: Cut all figs in half, removing all stems. Press the cut side of the figs into the sugar and salt mixture. Heat a large skillet and press the cut side of figs down for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove the figs from the pan when done and add port to the pan. Let it reduce for 30-45 seconds. Add the butter and lemon. Pour over the figs.

Don't dig your heels in over a recipe. Go open your browser or Joy of Cooking 1990's edition to that page you think you'll hate...and do it.

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.