Yes, the idea of grilling avocado seems really weird. But trust me: It's worth the risk. This "guacamole" is a warm, herby, cheesy spread that will make you think of avocados in a whole new light. Great for a backyard BBQ. —Merrill Stubbs
olive oil, plus more for grilling
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper
large clove garlic, minced
loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
freshly grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
Prepare a very hot gas or charcoal grill (you should not be able to hold your hand 5 inches above the grill for more than 3 seconds), or set a grill pan over medium-high heat. Halve, peel and pit the avocados and put them in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Brush the surface of the grill or grill pan with a light coating of oil so the avocados won't stick. Grill the avocados, cut side down, for a minute or two, until they are nicely caramelized. Flip them with a spatula and cook for another 2 minutes. Return the avocados to the bowl and mash gently with a fork, leaving them quite chunky. Stir in the rest of the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, basil and Parmesan, adding more lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with pita or tortilla chips, or press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole and keep at room temperature for up to an hour.