There's more to barbecuing than burgers and buns. California's star chef Michael Chiarello stokes the flames higher with a roundup of easy, seriously delicious side dishes you'll love. Light up the grill, and invite the gang over for one unforgettable blowout!
In the café at Chiarello's flagship Napa Style boutique they call it Rockamole, and for good reason. This mouthwatering dish packs a potent, not to mention surprising, twist: the savory sensation of smokiness and freshness where grilled avocado and mango meet. "Avocado has a natural fat content, and grilling adds a layer of complexity," says Chiarello. "Meanwhile, the grilled mango remains rich and firm, keeping its bright flavor."
Read on for Chiarello's no-fail guac recipe.
Still hungry? Check our more of our mouth-watering grilling recipes:
Grilled Avocado-Mango Guacamole
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6 ripe avocados
2 lemons, halved, for drizzling (reserve 1 tbsp juice for the onion)
¾ tsp coarse sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ large red onion, diced or sliced
2 mangoes, peeled
2 tbsp finely minced garlic
¾ cup fresh basil chiffonade (about 30 leaves, sliced into thin ribbons)
½ cup sour cream or crème fraîche
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Turn a gas grill to high or ignite charcoal. When the grill is hot, for both gas and charcoal grills, clean the rack. Decrease temperature to medium-high (on a gas grill only), and carefully brush or wipe a little olive oil on the rack.
2. Halve, peel, and pit the avocados. As you peel each one, put the flesh in a bowl and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top to keep it from oxidizing. Drizzle avocado halves with about 1 tbsp olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Place onion in a small bowl, and pour the reserved lemon juice on top. Toss and set aside.
4. With tongs, place peeled avocados and mangoes on the rack. Cook until you see grill marks (1–2 minutes), then turn them over and grill for another minute. Take avocados and mangoes off the grill, and set them aside to cool.
5. Preheat a 10-inch sauté pan on the stove or a cast-iron pan on the grill. Add ¼ cup olive oil to the pan, followed by the minced garlic, and sauté until garlic begins to show color. Add basil and sauté until wilted. Transfer garlic and basil to a large glass or ceramic bowl and allow to cool.
6. With a fork, mash grilled avocado into the basil mixture. Add sour cream or crème fraîche and stir. Add Parmesan and stir. Dice grilled mango after cutting away and discarding the pits. Gently stir in mango and onion (with its lemon juice). Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
7. This is best served the day it's made. If that's not possible, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it on top of the guacamole to keep it from discoloring, and refrigerate until it's ready to serve.