Fig Balsamic Recipe : vinegar dressings+marinades+glazes+drizzles

Fig Balsamic Recipes

Summer doesn’t feel like it’s ending for us yet because there’s still an amazing amount of wonderful summer produce that’s reaching out to us every time we go to the farmers market. The summer fruit pangs hit us hard this year when it came to figs. The plethora of phenomenal figs has us buying more figs than we can eat, and they’re not cheap! Sometimes at $4-$6  for a basket of about 5-7 figs, it can get really pricey for fig lovers like us. Every where we turn around, there’s a different fig that we haven’t tried. So that means shelling out some major bucks for more, more and more figs. Now if only the farmers market accepted credit cards, then we’d be in serious fig and debt gluttony.

glorious figs

Fig Balsamic Recipes

Our fig weakness got the best of us a few weeks back when Jen & Jeremy came to town and headed to our place for dinner. We thought about having a small plate of fresh, sweet figs for dessert would be a nice finish to outdoor dinner. So, we expected to only buy only a basket of brown turkey figs. OK, at $5 a basket, all we need is one. Then we turned to the next farmer a few stalls away and found some calimarni figs. Wow, those were deliciously sweet and maple syrupy-ish flavored. Awesome! We’ll take two basket of those please! Next down the row was a vendor with some of the most beautiful black mission figs we ever saw. Ugh! Darn those farmers with their free sample tables! So we took a taste test and again, wow! They were sweet as ever.  Another basket to add the collection. Finally we found a table that had another AMAZING fig that was super duper sweet. But the farmer forgot the name on this variety. So we called it our “no name” fig at $6 bucks a pop. Finally, the last basket to add to our fig gluttony. We’re fig whipped, for sure.

Obviously we couldn’t eat them all so with all the left over figs, we decided to make batch of fig balsamic, something we had in a restaurant once before and the memory of it still amazes us today. The fig balsamic was served on a Humboldt fog goat cheese plate and was meant to be drizzled on the cheese. Amazing! Another dish that we had was a heirloom tomato salad with a fig balsamic vinaigrette. In both these dishes, the fig balsamic was a delicious sweet, tart, tangy compliment to the cheese and the salad. We fell in love with fig balsamic and since then and have always wanted to make it ourselves. Now with a HUGE collection of figs that we didn’t get to finish eating, it was time to make our much anticipated fig balsamic before the figs went bad.

Warning!! When using fresh figs, this amazing fig balsamic is not cheap to make! Unless you have a fig tree that is yielding you with fig heaven, you’ll be shelling out half your paycheck for a batch for this stuff. With about $30 in fresh figs, we ended up with about less than 3/4 cup of fig balsamic. But all the gooey, sweet and tangy/tart concoction is worth every penny because it is so intensely flavored that just a little bit of the fig balsamic goes a long way. You can drizzle it on creamy cheeses (Humboldt Fog goat, Brie’s, Epoisses, St. Agur blue, etc.), on berries, or ice cream, use it as a glaze/marinade to add depth to  meats (duck, lamb, pork) or mix it with a little olive oil for a fantastic vinaigrette to enhance your favorite salads.  When stewed together, the sweet essence of the figs combines wonderfully with the tangy/tartness of the balsamic vinegar. The result is a dark, concentrated, sticky, gooey nectar of fig balsamic heaven.  This reduction of fig and balsamic vinegar is something you have to try!

We’re submitting this fig balsamic to Jen at Modern Beet, Fresh from the Farmers Market Carnival event. Jen’s fabulous event celebrates Farmer Markets all across the country. We gathered these fresh figs from The Santa Monica’s farmers market in Santa Monica, CA. Using fig preserves and dried figs is another option that we’ll have tot try. The costs won’t break the bank and maybe the results will be the same. We’ll let everyone know what are results are when we try that option! Has anyone tried making your own fig balsamic with dried figs or preserves? What were your results?

Fig Balsamic Recipe

Yield: 1/2 cup

Total Time: 1 hour


  • About 1/2 cup ripe fig pulp (about 10 oz figs) Sweet Mission figs or Brown Turkey figs
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Scoop out fig pulp.
  2. In saucepan, add fig pulp, balsamic vinegar and vanilla. Simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until it becomes thick. Stir occasionally (every 5-8 minutes).
  3. Allow fig/balsamic reduction to cool. We like having the seeds in our balsamic as well as having it smooth. If you want it smooth, place mixture in blender or food processor. Blend thoroughly until mixture combines and becomes smooth. This step will also help release the seeds from any pulp that has not cooked down. In separate bowl, strain out fig seeds. Depending on your strainer, you might need to strain it at least two times to remove most of seeds.
  4. The reduction is very concentrated. Use about 1 teaspoon at a time (or to taste) to your favorite marinades, sauces, dressing and drizzles.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

remove pulp

Fig Balsamic Recipes

Fig Balsamic Recipes

add balsamic vinegar, reduce

Fig Balsamic Recipes

blend in food processor

Fig Balsamic Recipes

strain to remove excess seeds

Fig Balsamic Recipes

That’s it.  Enjoy!


{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Monica Faiella

    I have made this with fig preserves. I don’t put it through the food processor or strain the seeds out, simply because the seeds don’t bother me and I feel the consistency is fine after I cook it. I was looking to replicate a drizzle I had at a restaurant on a salad of greens, beets and goat cheese. I use just arugula for the greens. It is yummy.

  2. Nancy Bauer

    I tried using the black mission fig balsamic over a pork roast. I didn’t pre-marinate, and so the taste was good but not full enough. Do you have a recipe to use for a roast pork (using the fig balsamic)? Those two flavors blend nicely! Thank you!!!

  3. sarah

    I have a fig tree and am looking for a new receipe to can so the mounds of figs don’t go to waste, have you tried canning this receipe?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We haven’t tried canning it yet, but the batches we’ve done have lasted quite a while in the fridge. None of them have spoiled before we could use it. I would imagine that canning them would work great too.

  4. Becky

    I made this and can’t wait to try it on all sorts of things. One question, is there a need to refrigerate?

  5. Yoko

    Just made this the other day since we had a ton of Costco figs left over – wow it’s good! Kind of tastes like prune extract/jam but with crunchy seeds. I could finish a whole round of brie with this..

  6. Sandra

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe! I am from central europe and I bought a bottle of fig balsamic in USA last autumn – and I am running out of it! I love it so much, I started to panic – what would I do without something sooooooo good? Between so many recipes how to cook with fig balsamic I finally found a recipe how to cook the fig balsamic as itself 🙂
    I am looking forward to the summer to buy some fresh figs and make it by myself. It’s totaly unknown product here, I am going to amaze and enlighten all my friends with it 🙂

  7. Aggie

    Thank you so much! will work with this idea!

  8. Aggie

    Hi there! I’m trying to recreate a fig balsamic preserves I had at a restaurant…was looking at your recipe and am wondering, have you ever made this with dried figs? I have a ton of dried figs to use up, any idea on how I should adapt recipe? Thanks!! 🙂

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We’ve only made it with all of our fresh figs. You could make a fig puree out of the dried figs. Probably a little less than a cup of water for two cups of dried figs. Put the figs in a blender or food processor, add about half the water, start blending, then keep adding water until you’ve reached the consistency you want. Good luck!

  9. Annapet

    Wow, what a find! Beef {Fig-Balsamic Reduction}: It’s what’s for dinner tonight! Thank you!

  10. Conni

    I made the fig balsamic with mission figs from my sister’s tree. Lucky for me I can get many more and try this recipe again. I found the vanilla taste over whelming. Is it supposed to have such a strong vanilla taste or is one tsp. too much?

    No, the vanilla taste shouldn’t be noticeable. We’ve made this recipe many times, and have double checked the measurements, but its never had a noticeable vanilla taste. However, every fig variety varies in sweetness and strength, so adjustments always need to be made for one’s local produce. I don’t think we’ve made this recipe with mission figs. Usually we use our tree (strawberry figs) or turkeys. Try cutting it in half, or even leave it out & see how it works for you. -WORC

  11. Diana

    How much balsamic vinegar does this receipe use?

    It’s about a cup. – WORC

  12. Brenda

    Now I finally have a recipe for out figs! We bought an old house with a small fig bush years ago and it just keeps growing larger every year. This is definitely something I can make and use frequently!

  13. Pamela

    For an amazing cocktail dish marinate a container of stuffed green olives–use your imagination blue cheese ones would be great. Marinate the olives in the fig/balsamic mixture. Serve in a glass bowl with toothpicks. (I have made the fig/balsamic using dried figs. I used a food processor to puree the dried figs, then added the balsamic vinegar.)

  14. Tiffany

    That looks wonderful! I wish I had a fig tree in my backyard.

  15. joey

    This looks magical! Oh I love figs but (like Manggy) I can’t get them fresh here 🙁 Will try this with dried figs or preserves! (Manggy, you can get fig preserves at Terry’s)

  16. Scott at Realepicurean

    I love figs too – but in the absence of anyone else in my family being keen they don’t make it into the house that often 🙁

  17. Simply...Gluten-free

    I am a fig fiend too – love it!

  18. veron

    The hubby is going to go crazy about this. He is an absolute fig fiend!

  19. aforkfulofspaghetti

    Hey, I’m back – sorry to been AWOL for so long.

    Loving the look of this fig balsamic. Figs are ridiculously expensive over here, too, so I’m not sure that I’m going to be making it any time soon. Might be worth a try with dried ones, though, as you suggest… Hmmm….

  20. Bill

    Actually, we have indeed infused balsamic vinegar with dried figs. It is delicious though the consistency may not be quite as thick as your creation. It’s likely that it could be reduced further with heat, though we have not tried to do so. Use a nice quality balsamic. Grind about 1 & 1/2 “crowns” (round packs of dried calmyrna figs – preferably from Greece) in a “meat grinder”. A hand-crank model such as the “Porkert” (yes, funny name) from Europe is just fine. Place ground figs in a glass container or ceramic crock and add about 1 liter of balsamic vinegar. Allow mixture to “steep” in a cool, dry place for 4-6 weeks. Strain steeped mixture through cheese cloth and store in clean bottles. It lasts at least 1 year if stored in a cool, dry environment. We have used Kirkland Balsamic Vinegar of Modena sold in 1 liter bottles at Costco for this recipe and it worked great. We have used the same technique with dried bing cherries which we process in a dehydrator and the results were excellent.

    1. Tracy

      This sounds so great…. Glad I read into the comments.

  21. Jude

    Wow that’s not a lot of yield for something that is pretty much perfect on its own. If you say it’s worth every penny though…

  22. Nate

    What? You don’t have a fig tree in your garden?!?

    We have a 3-year old Black Mission Fig tree that is producing right now. Our friend has a super-old tree that has tons of fruit, so they gave us buckets of ’em. We usually eat them straight but now I think I’m gonna try your balsamic fig recipe. Wonder if it’ll go good on grilled chicken?

  23. chefectomy

    Looks sensational you two. I love simplicity and this combination seems easy to make and can complement a variety of dishes. Just found you from Tastespotting, I’ll be back.


  24. Mike

    I’m with you in the fig lust department. My grocer is selling them buy one, get one free, so every time I go in there, I pick up another few pounds. Now the difficulty is getting through them all fast enough…lol, before I buy more. I can’t help myself!

    I really love the idea of this balsamic and it never would have occurred to me. It sounds like a very valuable thing to have in the pantry.

  25. Allen

    Mmmm … expensive but it sounds delicious! Hopefully, I’ll get another CSA delivery of figs next week 🙂

  26. Chez US

    Try Wholefoods. Not sure about there; but, I just found them up here for $3.99 a pound. Still not cheap but better than it was last week at $5.99 a pound! I will have to try this recipe out. Am going to attempt a fig jam as well. LOVE them!

  27. Hélène

    I wish I could find fresh figs in town. I would love to taste this on fresh cheese & bread.

  28. Donald

    You know, I have only had fig in a newton. Isn’t that sad?

    I have to try this. It sounds like a nice glaze for duck breasts!

  29. mikky

    Hello… I was tagged by Ning of Heart & Hearth, so I hope you don’t mind, but I’m tagging you… I would love to hear what you have to say…


  30. grace

    oh, how i love a good action shot! i’m ashamed to say that my experience with figs begins and ends with fig newtons, but this looks might enticing. perhaps it’s time for me to broaden my horizons. 🙂

  31. Marc @ NoRecipes

    Wow that looks good. Figs always used to remind me of those fig newton things that found their way into my lunchbag, but lately I’ve taken a liking the fresh ones.

  32. lifeinrecipes

    I have some cheeses that are crying for some of that sticky goodness. I buy a fig vinegar that I love that’s wonderful in a vinaigrette.

  33. RecipeGirl

    Yes, this would be perfect if I had a fig tree producing gobs of figs in my backyard! Ah, to be back on my grandparent’s farm again. That would be great. The balsamic fig dressing looks really, really, very good!

  34. Ivy

    This sounds amazing. Never heard of fig balsamic before but it sounds awesome.

  35. napa farmhouse 1885

    this recipe sounds delicious..i am so lucky to have a fig tree…in fact, i am always in desperate need of new recipes because our tree produces more fruit than we can eat (and we eat a lot of figs!) a few questions regarding the reduction. does it need to be refrigerated? if so, how long does it last? can it be preserved? i would like to make massive batches of this wonderful sounding reduction..

  36. kate

    wow thats a whole lotta figs . Sigh … when will i ever get my hands on so many of them ?? !!! for now i shall just look at your post n be happy 🙂

  37. matt wright

    Blimey, this looks wonderful. Figs are pricey aren’t they! But, I figure they aren’t around for ages (my excuse for masses of heirloom tomatoes too..), so go for it. At least when I am eating sodding Kale for three months over winter, I will have the memories of sweet figs!!

    I am going to have to try the fig balsamic – talk about fantastic flavors together.

    Have you tried figs with proscuitto, buffalo mozarella and basil? the sweet figs, salty ham and creamy cheese just go fantastically together. Drissle that with some olive oil and balsamic, and that is a fab lunch.

  38. Jen (Modern Beet)

    yum yum YUM! i love figs! the first thing I’m going to do when I buy my own place is to plant a fig tree! and a persimmon tree. and maybe an italian plum tree. oh yeah, and a meyer lemon tree.

    I took a month off with the Fresh From the Farmer’s Market blog carnival, but it’ll be back this month! Your article will be a great addition!

  39. ovenhaven

    I’ve never had figs before… 🙁 I never really thought much of them, until I see your lovely shots, and now I sound like a pregnant woman with a horrid fig craving, without knowing how they even taste like. Boo…. 🙁

    On a happier note, however, I have an award waiting for you at my blog 🙂

  40. Lisa

    Hi I’m Lisa and I too am a figaholic. I love the suckers. My Dad’s uncle had a fig tree – in Rhode Island, that alone is an amazing thing. He had to bury the tree every winter and unbury it in the spring. Lotta work but man those figs were heaven. I would pick them and eat them as fast and I picked. I love me some figs!!

  41. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Wow — an indulgence, but for a special occasion dinner, wouldn’t that be fun to serve? Would balance the cost of all of those figs by using Trader Joe’s balsamic; it’s cheap, not bad, and since you’re reducing it anyway, perfect for this.

  42. canarygirl

    Mark is right, black gold! Figs are abundant here right now, too…though not quite as pricey as yours! They are around $2.50 a pound (4 euros a kilo). I may just have to pick some up to make this beautiful sauce! 😀

  43. Manggy

    Oh, dear. I’m afraid I’ll never get to taste that for a long, long while. Does it work with dried figs? I’m guessing not 🙁 Black gold is pretty much what you have there! Wow!

  44. Christie @ fig&cherry

    Heaven in a sauce! Figs are the pinnacle of indulgence and you make them last even longer… you guys are sooo clever 😉

  45. Kitt

    Wow! That’s a lot of wonderful figs! Love fig balsamic. But I buy it already made up, from The Oilerie in Wisconsin.

    I’ve heard fig ice cream is really good, too. Sam posted it a while back, from David Lebovitz’s book.

    Also, Vicki at A Work in Progress posted about having too many figs a few days ago. I’ll point her here!

    1. Robyn

      I bought some reduced balsamic and Fig vinegar (well my mother did) and I don’t have a clue how to use it.
      Do you have some recipes I could try?

      1. White on Rice Couple

        Hi Robyn,
        One of our favorite uses for a reduced balsamic and fig vinegar is to serve it with a creamy cheese like a brie or Humbolt Fog. It is good over ice cream too. You can make a vinaigrette out of it. Try it on a fresh tomato salad or in this pomegranate salad. Just substitute in the fig/balsamic, maybe reducing the amount just a bit since it is more concentrated. Hope that helps.

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