3 Grits Recipes That Prove This Breakfast Staple Is Much More Versatile Than You Think
Grits are more than just shrimp’s sidekick—these grits recipes prove our point.
Spicy Street Corn Salad
This salad takes its cues from the classic Mexican street food, elote, which is grilled corn rubbed with spices and cheese. Here, the corn is easier to eat since it’s off the cob, and it’s mixed with arugula and beans for a filling, fresh summer salad. Because you’re eating the corn raw, try seeking out fresh corn from a local stand or farmers’ market. Serve this salad alongside grilled proteins like fish, chicken, or steak, or serve with hard-cooked eggs for a vegetarian twist. If you can’t find cotija, you can substitute parmesan or aged Cheddar.
Poke Lettuce Cups With Wasabi-Lime Mayo
If you’ve ever traveled to Hawaii, then you’ve likely tasted traditional poke—a raw fish specialty that usually includes seaweed, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Thankfully there’s no need to book a ticket to the Big Island to eat poke. This recipe adds a special twist by serving the poke in lettuce cups, topped with a spicy wasabi-lime mayo. Note that poke shouldn’t be marinated for too long, otherwise it’ll detract from the fresh fish taste, so wait to stir everything together just before serving. Looking to stretch this dish a little further? It would taste delicious with white or brown rice.
Tuna Niçoise Baguette
Sandwiches can run the gamut from just fine to absolutely incredible. In the case of this recipe, it’s the latter. You’ll fill a baguette with the ingredients found in a classic niçoise salad—green beans, tuna, olives, herbs, vinaigrette and peppers. Then the entire baguette gets wrapped up and pressed until the flavors have melded and the sandwich is bursting with flavor. Because the sandwich needs at least one hour to marinate, it’s perfect for packing for picnics, hikes, or lunch on the road. Shopping tip: Look for vibrant, plump green beans that are still crisp, since you’ll be eating them raw.
Garlicky Pan Con Tomate
All hail the ripe summer tomato, potentially a perfect food. Here, the inside of the tomato is the star: the juicy sweet-tart pulp adorns garlic-rubbed, toasted ciabatta, proving that simple food doesn’t mean boring. The pan con tomate can be the main meal (eat enough of the addictive toast and you’ll definitely get full), or top with tuna, capers, and a hard-boiled egg to make a filling open-faced sandwich. The recipe calls for broiling the ciabatta halves, but it’s worth opting for a grill, if you have one. The delicious charred flavor will accentuate the bright tomato pulp.
Goat Cheese Grits Soufflés
Great recipes can make cooking feel like magic. Think about it: You can mix up everyday ingredients like milk, grits, eggs, and cheese, place them in the oven, and then out comes a voluminous soufflé. It’s witchcraft of the best kind. This recipe makes eight individual soufflés that taste like the lovechild of spoonbread silky grits. Served with bacon, these soufflés are perfect for a brunch, or serve them as the side dish for an elegant dinner party, perhaps with slow-braised lamb and roasted asparagus.
You might think of grits being a savory dish served alongside shrimp or eggs, but here they are used in a sweet breakfast that falls somewhere between Cream of Wheat and rice pudding. The grits are cooked in cardamom- and cinnamon-spiced coconut milk, with dried apricots and raisins adding both sweetness and texture. If you’re feeling extra decadent, pour on some heavy cream or more coconut milk on top when serving. Shopping tip: If you can’t find whole cardamom pods, ground cardamom works, too. Plus there’s no need to fish the pods out once you’ve finished the pudding.
Once you’ve tried homemade grits dumplings, you might be wondering what the heck you’ve been doing with your life. They’re like traditional dumplings, but instead of just flour, the bulk of the dry mixture is made of quick-cooking grits. Once you assemble the dumplings, you’ll steam them and then add to any soup or broth you like. This recipe has a pretty simple flavor profile, so it’s easy customize the dumplings to the broth you're planning to use with spices added to the dry mixture, scallions swapped for the onion, or a bit of hot sauce stirred in with the milk.
Zesty Chicken Enchiladas
You might be wondering what, precisely, “zesty” means. We can sum it up for you in a couple of words: super flavor. In Spanish one might say, “que rico!” These cheesy corn tortillas get their punch from a homemade enchilada sauce. Fresh tomatillos, available in supermarkets in the fall, are a star ingredient. If you can’t find them, try using underripe tomatoes and a squeeze of lime juice for a convenient substitute. If you’re used to shaving off time with store-bought sauce (which isn’t bad), don’t give into the temptation; shredded rotisserie chicken is the timesaver here.