Pit Master: Why Avocados are Now Hitting the Grill

pit master

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Sliced atop a salad, mashed into creamy oblivion on toast, and, of course, folded into guacamole, the avocado rules summer eating. But lately, local chefs have been casting the cool, creamy fruit against type—by throwing it on an open flame. 

At the Tip Tap Room, in Beacon Hill, avocado halves are grilled and crowned with a pile of lobster meat. Across the river at Alden & Harlow, meanwhile, smoked-then-charred avocados get plated with burnt orange oil and chickpeas. And at Kenmore Square’s Audubon Boston, chef Suzi Maitland tops the green ovals with sweet chili sauce and queso fresco right after they come off the grill. As a testament to the small plate’s popularity, Maitland says she goes through more than 150 of the blackened avocados a week. 

Want to char your own at home? Maitland says to season the peeled, pitted halves with salt and pepper, place them on the grill cut-side down, and flip after two minutes. Even when charred, avocados pair well with tomatoes, onions, and lots of cilantro—meaning it may be time to give your classic guac recipe a flame-kissed upgrade.