A BBQU.net exclusive:
Grilled Avocado Corn Salsa

A salsa this simple lives or dies by the quality of the ingredients-ripe avocado, luscious tomato, sweet, crunchy corn. Grilling adds an extra dimension of flavor. To determine the ripeness of an avocado give it the Charmin test-the flesh should be gently yielding when the sides are squeezed.

Serves 4

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 luscious ripe red tomato
  • 1 ear fresh sweet corn, husked
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and finely chopped or 3 tablespoons diced sweet onion
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno or Serrano chilies, seeded and minced (for a spicier salsa leave the seeds in)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. For the best results grill over wood, or toss some unsoaked wood chips or chunks (ideally oak or hickory) on the fire.

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise to the stone. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. Sink the knife into the exposed pit and twist to remove and discard the seed.

Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the avocado (cut side down), tomato, and corn on the grate and grill until darkly browned, 3 to 5 minutes for the avocado, 6 to 8 minutes in all for the tomato and corn. The idea is to blister and blacken the skins, while leaving the vegetable raw in the center. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board and let cool.

Cut a crosshatch into each avocado half, through the flesh, to but not through the skin. Scoop out the avocado with a spoon into a mixing bowl-it should fall apart into a neat 1/4 inch dice. Dice the tomato into 1/4 inch dice. Cut the kernels off the corn. The easiest way to do this is to lay the cobs flat on a cutting board. Remove the kernels with lengthwise slices of a chefs knife. Add them to the avocado and tomato. The salsa can be prepared ahead several hours to this stage.

Just before serving, add the chili, cilantro and lime juice to the salsa ingredients and gently toss to mix. Add salt, pepper, and additional lime juice if needed-the salsa should be highly seasoned.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort