Intro

Summer is easy. It’s easy to be inspired by the vibrant rows of produce lining the crowded stalls at the farmer’s market. Flipping through the summer issue of my favorite food magazines it’s easy to create dinner plans for tonight, tomorrow and the weeks to come. Walking down the aisle at the grocery store it is easy to grab a half flat of strawberries on a whim as their perfume intoxicates to the point of near delirium. With no solid plans for them and paying no mind to the fact that I just used up a flat the day before, it is easy to get blindsided by the charms of this season.

The sun keeps us outside for as long as it decides to linger. There are lemonade stands to run, new bikes to ride and a small garden to painstakingly tend to. I’m called in only briefly to quickly assemble a simple summer dinner, one that requires little more than a hot grill (grill pan) and loads of fresh vegetables. It’s easy to be deemed a great cook in this season as much of the work is done for you in the freshness of the produce. The sun sweetens, the earth gives depth and heft and all that is left to do is assemble.

As the weather slowly warms up and the activities of summer take full swing it is the meals that don’t require an oven, that come together in a moment’s time and with each bite taste of summer itself that I turn to. Few ingredients brought together in creative ways served family style at the table or better yet, on the grass – this is the food of our summer. Easy.

Grilled avocado and Corn Salad

It was the latest Bon Appetit that brought my attention to grilling avocados and for that I can never thank them enough. If I could I would grill a stick of butter but since that seems improbable avocados are the next best thing. Their flesh softens under the heat giving them the texture I dream of when thinking on grilled butter. The smokiness from the grill does them well.

2 avocados, halved and removed from their skin (I find a spoon works best for this)
1 Tablespoon buter
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 scallions, chopped
1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno (more or less)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup crumbled feta (optional)

Add the butter to a hot skillet. To that add the corn, cumin and a pinch of salt. Saute until corn is just cooked, 2-3 minutes then turn off heat. Toss in the scallions, jalapeno and cilantro. Taste and add more salt if needed.

On a very hot grill or grill pan place the avocados on the grill. Let sit undisturbed for a couple of minutes. Flip the avocados over and grill the other side. Salt the avocados and place on a platter with the corn salad.

Grill some thinly sliced bread that has been drizzled with oil. Brush the grilled bread with a garlic clove. Served alongside the salad.



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Grilled Avocado Salad // Strawberries with Honey Creme Anglaise

Grilled avocado and Corn Salad

It was the latest Bon Appetit that brought my attention to grilling avocados and for that I can never thank them enough. If I could I would grill a stick of butter but since that seems improbable avocados are the next best thing. Their flesh softens under the heat giving them the texture I dream of when thinking on grilled butter. The smokiness from the grill does them well.

2 avocados, halved and removed from their skin (I find a spoon works best for this)
1 Tablespoon buter
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 scallions, chopped
1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno (more or less)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup crumbled feta (optional)

Add the butter to a hot skillet. To that add the corn, cumin and a pinch of salt. Saute until corn is just cooked, 2-3 minutes then turn off heat. Toss in the scallions, jalapeno and cilantro. Taste and add more salt if needed.

On a very hot grill or grill pan place the avocados on the grill. Let sit undisturbed for a couple of minutes. Flip the avocados over and grill the other side. Salt the avocados and place on a platter with the corn salad.

Grill some thinly sliced bread that has been drizzled with oil. Brush the grilled bread with a garlic clove. Served alongside the salad.

 

Strawberries with Honey Creme Anglaise

1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
pinch salt
¼ cup honey
4 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan combine the cream, milk, vanilla seeds and bean. Bring to a simmer. Then turn off the heat and let stand for at least 15 minutes to infuse the cream with the vanilla.

In a medium bowl whisk the yolks, honey and a pinch of salt.

Bring the cream back to a simmer then slowly pour that into the bowl with the yolks while whisking. Pour everything back into the saucepan and continue to cook on low until it thickens slightly (170-175*F). It should just coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.

Strain this mixture into a clean bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour warm, if the weather is gray and clouds cover or cold, if the sun persists over the clouds, over a bowl of sliced strawberries.

34 Responses to “grilled avocado salad + berries with honey creme anglaise”

  1. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    Absolutely gorgeous. I agree that “summer” is basically another way to say “let’s make it simple”… and there is nothing more delish than these ingredients on a hot summer day.

    Reply
  2. Megan Gordon

    Love that little hand in the photo! As much as we’re loving vacation, we’re missing fresh fruits and vegetables so much (Walmart is the only place to shop here and the selection is pretty rugged) … so your post has made me so look forward to a little fresh summer food very soon. Beautiful, as always (and grilling avocados: cool!)

    Reply
  3. la domestique

    I’ve slipped into the ease of summer too, and find the simplicity of cooking with farm fresh fruit and veg suits my tastes best. I’m looking forward to giving your grilled avocado a try with the first of the season fresh corn. Enjoy the holiday with your family!

    Reply
  4. Margherita

    Question: what’s better than grilled avocados? Answer: nothing!!!!
    I can’t wait for later today to threw a couple of them on barbecue!

    Reply
  5. shuhan

    I actually have never tried grilled avocados. It’s usually raw in some form, salad or spreads or sauces or in sandwiches, but never grilled. sounds delicious! and, as usual, GORGEOUS photos, just makes me want to tear into the screen. (btw still having problems with the comments box)

    Reply
  6. Kristin

    oh how delicious does this look. Ive never thought to grill avocado but I can imagine how the smokiness would elevate the flavors.

    Reply
  7. thelittleloaf

    Oh to have the weather you are having! The UK is just appalling at the moment – rain and clouds and not even that warm. But I’m soldiering on and using our BBQ anyway, and grilled avocado is one of my favourite things in the world. Gorgeous photos – you helped me escape to a sort of summer, even if ours hasn’t arrived yet.

    Reply
  8. Laura

    I tried the avocado salad tonight and it was delicious!! Even with my slightly underripe avocados, and lacking a grill (I just seared them over high heat in a pan). I can only imagine the smokey goodness…

    Reply
  9. molly

    funny. saw the grilled avocados at BA, and shrugged, mildly interested. here? famished, and adding them quickly to my mental line-up.
    happy summer to you and yours, ashley.
    xo,
    m

    Reply
  10. myfudo

    I love the grill marks on everything. Summer is at its peak…
    I love the creaminess of avocado and the perfect blend of flavors in this salad. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Jen @ Savory Simple

    I have always wanted to try grilling avocado but was worried it would fall apart. Do you pick ones that are slightly less ripe? Everything looks delicious.

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    I’ve never had grilled avocado, but it’s always been on the “list” of things to be eating. After seeing this, I’m definitely going to put a high priority on it!

    Reply
  13. Sabine

    Adore creative ways to use avocados. Your avocados are marvelous. And I’m not sure there’s any food that can take a wrong turn on the grill. As for avocados, I’ve been subbing them for butter in baking. And for mayo in deviled eggs.

    Reply
  14. Marisa

    I’ve never grilled avocados, but I’m doing it tonight. This looks absolutely delish. Thanks for the great ideas, as always!

    Reply

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