I find grits a little weird. Logically I know they are pretty similar to polenta, but there is something about how I’ve had them in the past that makes me pull out something else from the pantry when cooking. Doesn’t matter what, just not usually the grits. Bob, on the other hand, loves grits. He would love it if I made them on a regular basis, but he also knows he married a Jersey girl, so that isn’t happening.
But … every now and then I make them. I’ve made them with breakfast food and just with cheese per Bob’s request. I figured I earned the right to make them the way I wanted – with vegetables (or as Bob calls it – with food his food eats).
Vegetables & Grits:
- 1/2 cup grits, rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese (pecorino)
- 1 parsnip
- 1 carrot
- 2 scallions – white and light green parts separated from dark green part
- 2 oz. snow peas (this is an estimate – it was a very full handful)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- olive oil for pan
- salt and pepper
In a medium pot bring grits, 2 cups vegetable broth and a pinch of salt to a boil. (I was using regular grits so the cooking time was longer than some other versions. Reduce heat to low/simmer and cook, covered, for about 40 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. Stir well and return lid to pot and let it rest for about ten minutes. Stir in cheese and keep covered.
While grits cook, chop vegetables. Cut parsnip and carrot on the bias, chop scallions keeping light green and white parts separate from the dark green parts, trim snow peas and cut into bite sized pieces (usually in half) and chop or slice garlic and chop chives.
Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add parsnip, carrot and white/light green scallions. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes. Mix cornstarch into cool or cold broth and mix well. Add garlic to pan, cook 1 minute more, then add broth and stir together. Cover. Reduce heat to low and cook about 6 minutes until carrots and parsnip are tender and broth has thickened. Add snow peas and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Plate grit in a shallow bowl or on a plate with a rim. Top with vegetables and broth. Garnish with dark green scallions and chives. Serve hot.