Grilled Avocados with Ginger Miso

Grilled avocado halves served with our punchy marinade are surprisingly meaty and wonderfully tender and rich. They make a great vegetarian starter or a change-of-pace stand-in for guacamole.
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots (about 1/2 small shallot)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the grill or grill pan
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 medium, firm-ripe avocados
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn, for garnish
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving

1. Whisk together the shallots, vegetable oil, vinegar, ginger, miso, sesame oil and sugar in a small bowl; set the marinade aside.

2. Halve the avocados lengthwise, remove the pits and score the interior of each half in a 1/2-inch crosshatch pattern. Set the halves, cut-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Spoon the marinade into the avocado cups, dividing evenly (about 1 tablespoon per avocado half), and let stand for 5 minutes while it soaks in. Spread the marinade (with a pastry brush or the back of a spoon) over the entire cut surface of the avocados and gently into the crosshatch cuts.

3. Meanwhile, heat a grill or a grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil the grill grates or grill pan. Grill the marinated avocado halves, cut-side down, for 2 minutes, gently loosen with a spatula, then continue grilling until the avocados show grill marks and the marinade is fragrant and caramelized, about 2 minutes more. Flip the avocados to their skin side, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and grill for 1 minute.

4. Transfer to individual serving plates, and garnish each with some of the basil and a lemon wedge.

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