Grilled Avocado Halves with Cumin-Spiced Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

June 23, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

If you're accustomed to portabella caps or tofu steaks as your vegetarian grilling dish of choice, consider this recipe your new favorite alternative. Creamy, satisfying avocado meets a hassle-free, versatile quinoa salad that works on its own as an anytime summer side dish. —Gena Hamshaw

What You'll Need
  • For the grilled avocados:
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the cumin-spiced quinoa and black bean salad:
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (or substitute cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels (from about 1 ear)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can beans, rinsed)
  • 10 to 15 basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  1. Lightly oil your grill or grill pan and set over medium heat.
  2. Rinse the quinoa through a fine sieve for about a minute. Place quinoa in a medium sized pot with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cover the quinoa and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Brush the avocados lightly with olive oil and drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place the avocados, cut side down, on the grill. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes, or until they have nice grill marks. Remove them from heat and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. To a large mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa, cucumber, pepper, corn, black beans, basil, and cilantro. Dress the salad and toss gently. Season to taste.
  6. Fill each avocado half till it's brimming over with a cup of quinoa salad. Serve, garnished with extra cilantro if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lindsay
  • LeAnne
  • Susan Z
    Susan Z
  • Ann Barkley
    Ann Barkley

8 Reviews

Lindsay March 23, 2019
Delicious! I served it with some rocket, and will eat the rest of the salad tomorrow with salad for lunch.
LeAnne May 31, 2016
The grilled avocados were lovely. The quinoa salad was incredibly boring. Love the concept, but really need to up the flavor. Also, that's a lot of quinoa salad for 3 avocados even stuffing all six halves to overflowing.
Susan Z. May 26, 2016
Made this tonight for dinner along side ancho rubbed flank steak-fantastic! I grilled the avocados on a grill pan over medium-high heat. They were perfect! My family declared the meal a "keeper".
Ann B. May 25, 2016
Am I correct when I assume that you grill the avacados over indrect heat?
Tal May 25, 2016
Is it better to grill a ripe or unripened avocado?
Nancy M. June 26, 2015
Why would anyone want to eat a warm avocado? This salad looks good, and I think I'll make it, but I will be serving mine in an uncooked avocado.
Bill June 29, 2015
Don't knock it until you try it. I was that way too until I tried an egg in one with cheese and baked :-D it magnifies the taste. I have two avocado in my yard and this opens up a whole new world.
Nina June 30, 2015
where do you live with avocado trees in your yard!! I'm moving there