I’m writing this post on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far. By the time I come to publish it, no doubt the clouds will have returned – but for now, the sun is blazing, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and I am basically melting. The temperature’s reached around 33°C (around 91°F), which is probably fairly normal to some of you, but we Brits are not built for this kind of heat. I can’t cope! And you can be sure you won’t be finding me turning on the oven on a day like today. Grilled avocado to the rescue! It’s fresh, it’s summery, and best of all, it requires barely any heat whatsoever.
This time I prepared my avocado in a griddle pan on the hob, purely because I wanted those gorgeous black char lines (what can I say, I had a very vain avocado and it wanted to be pretty). It literally takes about 30 seconds, and gives a beautiful charred flavour (I’m going to be saying the word ‘char’ a lot in this post, warning you now).
If you prefer, you can char your avocados on the BBQ instead – my mother-in-law made something similar a couple of weeks back and it worked just fine! You’ll get an even layer of crispiness rather than pretty char lines, but in my opinion, that’s just how things cooked on a BBQ should be – if it’s not lightly charred all over, it’s not cooked properly. Be aware that they don’t take long at all, and they don’t need a very high heat – keep an eye on them if you don’t want them to be burned to a crisp!
I stuffed my grilled avocado with an easy spicy tomato salsa, with spring onions, corn, tomatoes – and my favourite spicy Peppadew piquante peppers. I love cooking with these babies – blending them into pasta sauces, using them to add heaps of flavour to creamy dips, baking them into cheesy breads… and now, adding them to salsa! They’re so versatile. The slightly sweet spiciness gives the salsa a real punch, and it’s perfect alongside the creamy avocado. Just pile it high, and dig in. This time I used the ‘mild’ Peppadews (which are still fairly spicy!), but you could use the extra hot Peppadews if you’re feeling fiery.
I hope I’ve convinced you that grilled avocado is a great thing to try! A lot of people shy away from cooking avocado, but in this recipe it only needs mere seconds over the heat, so it still stays mostly cool inside – and it’s just so preeeetty! If you’re still not convinced, make the spicy tomato salsa anyway, and serve it with something different (halloumi! eggs! tofu!).
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 8 Peppadew piquante peppers, chopped (mild or hot)
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn kernels
- Small bunch fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 avocado
First, prepare the spicy tomato salsa. Add the chopped spring onions to a bowl, along with the Peppadews, tomatoes, corn and basil. Add some lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper, and mix well to combine. Set aside.
Cut the avocado in half, and remove the pit. If cooking on the hob, heat a griddle pan on a very high heat, then place the avocado in the pan cut-side down. Cook for around 30 seconds, then remove. Or, if cooking on a BBQ, place the avocado cut-side down on the grill over a medium heat, and cook for a minute or so, until lightly charred. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
Serve the grilled avocado halves stuffed with the spicy tomato salsa.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.