SERVES 6 TO 8
It first occurred to me to grill avocados when I had a bunch of really hard ones that I wanted to use that night. I thought about how to soften them up and, since I grill everything, decided to throw them on and see what happened. I tossed the halves with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and voilà-avocados with a smoky taste.
For grilling, be sure to choose avocados that are still fairly firm; soft ones don’t work.
The apricot preserves are just the right accent for the blue cheese and smoky bacon in the salad.
_3 large firm avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/ 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice_
_2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/ 4 cup apricot preserves
1/ 3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper_
_8 cups chopped iceberg, romaine, or butter leaf lettuce
1 cup diced tomato
1 cup drained, diced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, whites and yolks coarsely chopped separately
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/ 2 cup crumbled blue cheese_
To grill the avocados:
Preheat a gas grill on medium-high heat or light a charcoal grill.
Brush or spray the avocados evenly with the olive oil and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the avocado halves just until grill marks form, 2 to 3 minutes. With a spatula, carefully turn the halves and cook for a few minutes more, until marks appear on the other side. Remove to a side dish and sprinkle lime juice over each half. Cool the avocados to room temperature or refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
For the dressing:
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, apricot preserves, olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the salad:
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing. Transfer the dressed lettuce to a large platter. Carefully cut the grilled avocados on the bias into thick slices and place them down the center of the salad. In a small bowl, mix the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes together. Spoon the yolks, whites, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese around the avocado. Serve.
From Cat Cora’s Classics With a Twist
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Available now at Amazon.com