Pan-Seared Foie Gras With Fig Mostarda and Fresh Figs Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Note: Fresh foie gras can be ordered online. I prefer the grade "A" lobes from Bella Bella Gourmet, who sells foie produced by La Belle Farms, a small-scale poultry farm in Ferndale, New York. You can order the foie gras here. A lobe of foie gras weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is enough for at least 10 to 12 servings. For a step-by-step slideshow on how to slice whole foie gras, see the post here.

Uneaten foie gras can be stored in a vacuum-sealed bag and frozen for several months. Excess sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Serve extra sauce with charcuterie, cheese, or roast duck or pork.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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For the Fig Mostarda:

  • 6 dried figs, split into quarters

  • 1 cup cognac

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot mustard powder

  • Pinch salt

For the Foie Gras:

  • 4 slabs fresh grade "A" foie gras, each 1/2-inch thick, lightly scored in a hashmark pattern on one side (6 to 8 ounces total, see note)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives

  • Coarse sea salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel

  • 4 fresh figs


  1. Make the Fig Mostarda: Combine dried figs, cognac, sugar, whole grain mustard, and mustard powder in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook until reduced and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until cool. Season with a pinch of salt.

  2. For the Foie Gras: Lay a double layer of paper towels on top of a plate or cutting board and set aside. Season foie gras liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet over high heat for at least 3 minutes. Place foie gras in skillet scored-side-down. It should immediately start smoking, sizzling, and rendering fat. If it doesn't, remove and allow the pan to preheat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Once all four pieces of foie are in skillet, cook, swirling pan gently every few seconds, until deeply browned and crisp on first side, about 30 seconds. Use a thin metal spatula to flip foie gras onto second side and cook for 30 second longer. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and let rest for 1 minute.

  3. Use a small spoon to glaze each piece of foie gras with syrup from fig mostarda. Spoon some of the fig mostarda onto four individual serving plates and place 1 slice of foie gras on each. Top with chives, coarse sea salt, and fresh fig slices. Serve immediately with lightly dressed greens.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
494 Calories
19g Fat
78g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 494
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 922mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 78g 28%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 71g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 377mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)