To be sure, grilling is an art. Perfect sear marks, internal temperatures, flare-ups—a lot to consider.
But chef Robbie Wilson of Mattei's Tavern in Santa Barbara has a simple dish that barely requires acquaintance with fire: grilled avocados that hold their own dipping sauce.
First step: make the ponzu dressing. It's a dump-and-stir sauce made up of pantry staples like sugar, citrus juice, soy sauce, and garlic, with a few wildcards (yuzu, kombu) thrown in for complexity and depth. You can make it in the time it takes to ignore a commercial break.
Then, just heat up your grill (or grill pan—nobody will know better). As Wilson notes, you're not looking to cook the avocado. You just want to get some marking on there to give you variation in flavor and texture.
In under five minutes, you'll have yourself a premium snack for two, or a rich-as-hell dinner for one: a buttery fruit cupping a super-umami sauce.