Fig Toast is one of the most delicious ways to celebrate the peak of fig season. It's easy to put together, loaded with bright flavors, contrasting textures, and it's really beautiful!
If you want to make a stunning, incredibly delicious and impressive appetizer, lunch or brunch with figs, this Fig Toast is the answer.
Crunchy bread, soft cheese and sweet figs, all drizzled with a subtly sweet, earthy basil oil.
You can make the basil oil ahead, and put everything together in a few minutes when you're ready to serve.
- fresh figs - Choose plump figs that have a little bit of give when pressed lightly. They should not be too soft. Black Mission figs are featured in hear, though you can use any variety you like. Several fig varieties are described here.
- fresh basil - Choose bright green perky bunches.
- extra virgin olive oil - Use a high quality extra virgin oil that you love the flavor of. I like this one.
- fresh mozzarella - Fresh mozzarella cheese has a mild flavor and its texture is soft and sliky-smooth.
- bread - Use any bread you like that's going to be firm enough to hold the ingredients. I use large slices of bread (imagine a typical loaf of sourdough in terms of shape and size) and cut them into thirds. I like to use a darker bread, like Squaw, which you can find in most grocery stores. I love the delicious deep flavor and it's beautiful with the figs.
- Kosher salt - I cook (and bake) with Kosher salt because I like its larger flake size and it usually doesn't contain additives. (If you use table salt, use half the amount.)
- granulated sugar - We'll use the tiniest bit in the basil oil to enhance its flavor.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
Substitutions and Variations
- You can substitute the basil oil with your favorite pesto if you'd like. It would replace the basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and sugar.
- Fresh mozzarella. Fig toast is also excellent with goat cheese. If you substitute the fresh mozzarella with it, spread a nice, thick layer of it on top of the basil oil. A thin slice of a soft brie would be very tasty, too, though stronger in flavor.
- Using other fruits. Of course this recipe is all about figs, but you can also make it with fresh strawberries, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, whatever suits you that can be sliced nicely.
- Vegan? For a vegan version of this fig toast, swap the cheese with a spread of plain hummus, or this super special Roasted Macadamia Nut Hummus. A thick spread of vegan pesto would work well, too. Hummus will change the overall flavor, but it will still be wonderful. If you opt for using a vegan pesto, it would be in lieu of the basil oil.
- Gluten-free? Just use your favorite gluten-free bread that gets crisp when toasted.
- I would not try using a hard mozzarella. If it's not fresh, it won't be soft and it would take away from the delightful eating experience. If it's all you have, you must slice it extremely thinly for it to work for this recipe, though fresh is best.
- The recipe will likely make more of the basil oil than you'll need. It won't blend properly in the blender if you use less of the ingredients. Save any extra for salad dressing or to drizzle over chicken, fish, or anything you desire.
- The figs can be any size, which is why I get the weight needed.
- I like to slice the figs into wedges (see images), but you can also slice them into rounds.
- If you happen to have a fig tree, use some of the fig leaves to place on your serving plate, beneath the toast. They're gorgeous!
How to Make It
- Add the washed and dried basil leaves to a blender with the oil, salt and sugar. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- Once the figs are washed and dried, cut them into fairly thin wedges. The number of them will depend on the size of the figs.
- Cut the mozzarella into thin slices (about ¼-inch).
- After the slices of bread are toasted, drizzle them with the basil oil, about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Then distribute the cheese slices evenly among them, followed by the fig wedges. Drizzle each with more of the basil oil, about 2 teaspoons.
- Now you can either leave the fig toast as is, or cut each one in half or into thirds, which is what you'll want to do if you're serving this as an appetizer.
- Fig Toast makes for a lovely lunch or brunch with a side salad. I would suggest Watermelon Basil Salad, Grilled Little Gem Salad or Papaya Salad with Avocado.
- At a brunch it would also be fantastic alongside Egg White-Potato Frittata or Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs.
- And it's an amazing appetizer when the fig toast is cut into smaller pieces.
Other Fresh Fig Recipes
Can you make it ahead?
You can make the basil oil up to a couple of days ahead of time, but everything else should be done close to the time you'd like to serve.
Fig season is generally May through November, depending on the variety and weather conditions. Peak season is August to October.
I hope you love it!
Fig Toast Recipe
- 2 cups lightly packed basil leaves (about 3-ounces) washed and dried
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch Kosher salt
- slightly over-flowing ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella cheese
- about 4 ounces fresh figs (I use Black Mission)* washed and dried
- 3 large slices of bread (I use a large round loaf of Squaw bread)* toasted
- Make the basil oil. Add the washed and dried basil leaves to a blender with the oil, salt and sugar. Blend until smooth and set aside. (You will likely have more than you need.
- Prepare the figs. Once the figs are washed and dried, cut them into fairly thin wedges. The number of them will depend on the size of the figs.
- Assemble. After the slices of bread are toasted, drizzle them with the basil oil, about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Then cut the mozzarella into thin slices (about ¼-inch), and place a few on top of the basil oil on each toast. Distribute the fig slices evenly among them, and drizzle with more of the basil oil, about 2 teaspoons on each one.
- Serve. Leave the fig toast as is, or cut each one in half or into thirds, which is perfect for an appetizer.