Why You Should Grill Avocados

by Food52

Summertime means one thing: it's grilling season. But while hot dogs and hamburgers seem like an obvious thing to cook up first, it's time to add another important barbecue skill to your repertoire: knowing how to grill avocados. Food52 shows you everything you need to know.

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Let your avocado flag fly free.

We're all a little bit obsessed with avocados. I jump at any opportunity to add avocado to a salad; I swoon over kale that has been “massaged” in layers of creamy green flesh; I pin and like and repost every image of avocado toast as if I had never seen it before; and I blend this decadent fruit into pasta sauces, chocolate pudding, smoothies, salad dressings, and more.

This recipe is an excuse to let your avocado lover’s flag fly without blending or chopping or slicing the fruit. Instead, you’ll allow it to shine as itself, by cutting it in half and placing it directly on a hot grill, where it will proceed to develop the most enticing grill marks across its creamy surface. The contrast of a little char against avocado’s natural unctuousness is pretty irresistible — whether or not you’re an established avocado devotee.

The other half of this summery dish is an easy, versatile quinoa and black bean salad. I make this dish, or some variation of it, for countless working lunches each and every summer. I also serve it as a dinner side or a potluck offering, and I dig into the leftovers for savory breakfasts. It’s simple enough, but the cumin dressing makes it sing, and you’ll find yourself reaching for the recipe again and again — when you’re not too busy scooping into yet another avocado, of course.

Grilled Avocado Halves with Cumin-Spiced Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Serves 4 to 6

For the grilled avocado:

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Salt and pepper

For the cumin-spiced quinoa and black bean salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (or substitute cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels (from about 1 ear)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can beans, rinsed)
  • 10 to 15 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Alpha Smoot