Charred Avocado Salad with Cilantro Mayo

This smoky salad from chefs Christopher Kostow and David Guilloty at The Charter Oak in St. Helena is pure California magic. Searing the firm-ripe avocado transforms into a creamy treat with a hint of char.

Charred Avocado Salad with Cilantro Mayo
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoon grapeseed oil, divided

  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems

  • 2/3 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems

  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk

  • 5 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 large firm-ripe avocados, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, pits removed

  • 2 cups delicate greens (such as fava leaves, ice plant, pea tendrils, or chrysanthemum greens)

  • Sel gris, to taste


  1. Process 1 cup grapeseed oil, cilantro, and parsley in a high-powered blender until hot, about 2 minutes. Line a fine wire-mesh strainer with a double layer of damp cheesecloth. Pour oil mixture through prepared strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Set cilantro oil aside.

  2. Whisk together egg yolk and 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup grapeseed oil until completely incorporated and mixture is creamy and slightly thickened. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup cilantro oil until completely incorporated and mixture is thick and creamy. Whisk in kosher salt.

  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Make 1/4-inch-deep cuts in a crosshatch pattern on cut sides of avocado halves; brush evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil. Place in skillet, cut sides down, and sear until charred, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Cut each avocado half lengthwise into 2 pieces. Carefully peel and discard skin.

  4. Arrange 1/2 cup greens on each of 4 serving plates. Top each with 2 avocado quarters. Drizzle evenly with remaining 4 teaspoons lime juice, and sprinkle with sel gris. Arrange small dollops (about 11/2 tablespoons per plate) of cilantro mayo on greens around avocado. Drizzle each plate with 2 teaspoons cilantro oil. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead

Cilantro oil and mayo can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in airtight containers in refrigerator.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, Grenache-based rosé.

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