This past weekend was replete with backyard barbecues and grilling in the park. While others focused on flambé-ing flag cakes and connecting with family, I remained vigilant for food hacks. Before I knew it, I was eating some great trash. Whether you’re vegan, dairy-sensitive, or just happen to notice someone abandoned an avocado skin with some good green stuff left inside, you should “butter” your corn with avocado remains.
This is part of Eating Trash With Claire, a Lifehacker series where Claire Lower (and friends) convinces you to transform your kitchen scraps into something edible and delicious.
I’ll be the first to crush a heavily-buttered, over-salted ear of corn, but I find it troublesome when I see un-scraped avocado halves with layers of the ripe fruit left inside. A ripe avocado has something of a unicorn status, so if you’re going to devour it, then take every last bit, dammit. I must say, there was no contest when I was choosing between buttering my next cob, or finishing off this avocado. I grabbed the mostly-used avocado skin destined for the trash, and smeared it all over my freshly grilled corn on the cob. (Apologies for the sideways picture, but I didn’t have my wits about me and forgot to flip to “landscape.”)
The heat from the corn softened the saturated fats in the avocado, giving it the same texture as butter; the ridges between the corn kernels captured smears of the fruit, and I had a beautiful, green-tinged ear of corn. Just like butter, the avocado layer makes for a sticky surface to capture salt, but unlike straight up melted fat, the avocado doesn’t drip off the hot corn. It stays put, tastes rich and slightly vegetal, and you can feel good about not wasting even an ounce of elemental guacamole.
This works best with avocado that has been halved or quartered, with the skin on and the flesh scooped out. There’s almost always avocado residue where the scooping utensil couldn’t reach. Take the skin, flip it so the concave side is facing down (which also keeps your fingers clean), and place it on the corn. Hold the corn steady in one hand, and use the fingers of your other hand to press down on the skin to make contact with the corn. As you do this, rotate and move the skin around on the cob to cover all areas, pressing on the avocado skin in different parts to get all of the remaining fruit. Salt as normal.
This is a great butter replacement option even if you don’t have trash-bound avocado skins. You can cut off a piece of avocado and run it along the corn, or just swipe on some guacamole if that’s on the table. Now shuck off and enjoy your “uni-corn.”