Advanced | Servings: 4 | Ready In: 60 minutes | Yield: about 8 cups (4 big bowls)
Grits are Southern comfort food. Cooked slowly, with love, they become the hearty base for oil-free braised chard. A Sweet-Heat Tomato Jam packs more flavor as sweet tomatoes get a kick from spicy peppers and bright balsamic. This is the ultimate comfort food dish. For a full gluten-free meal, enjoy with Southern Style Vegan Cornbread, Sweet Corn Succotash, and Raw Chocolate Pecan Kentucky Derby Pie.
For the Southern Peppery Grits:
- 3 cups water (or vegetable stock)
- 2 cups almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
- 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup dry Corn Polenta Grits
For the Sweet Heat Tomato Jam:
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) canned diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Caramelized Onions and Chard:
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch chard, stems separated from the stalks and both chopped
How it’s Done
To make the Sweet Heat Tomato Jam: Combine the halved tomatoes, canned tomatoes, balsamic, thyme, bay leaf, paprika, and 1/2 cup water in a medium pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook another 10-20 minutes, until most of the liquid has steamed off and you reach a thick, jam-like consistency.
Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve. While the Tomato Jam simmers, you can make the Grits and Chard
To make Peppery Southern Grits: Combine the water, almond milk, black pepper, salt, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf, and garlic in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
While the mixture is boiling, start whisking. Pour in the grits, while you continue to whisk. Keep whisking and let the grits come to a simmer. Whisk another minute or so, to be sure there are no clumps in the grits.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape out the corners to ensure no grits are sticking to the sides.
After 15 minutes, remove the lid and let any excess moisture cook off. You want to be able to hold a “line” when you scrape a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan. If the line doesn’t hold for a couple of seconds, the grits are too loose. Keep cooking.
When the grits are ready, taste to adjust seasoning. Keep warm until ready to serve.
To make the Caramelized Onion and Chard: Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and spread into a single layer in the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are well-browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the chard and 1/4 cup water. Continue cooking over medium heat. Cook for at least 10 more minutes…or up to an hour. If the mixture starts to dry out, add a couple tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve the Peppery Southern Grits with Sweet Heat Tomato Jam and Caramelized Chard: Make a big pile of grits. Top with the caramelized onion and chard. Then spoon on a good portion of the sweet heat tomato jam.
Enjoy the warm hug from my Southern heart 🙂
Chef Katie’s Tips:
Grit Tips: The key lies in good grits — Anson Mills and Palmetto Farms produce some of the best grits. You can use white grits, yellow grits, blue corn grits, or even Italian-style polenta. Whatever you do, though, avoid the instant. Because Southern love gets better with time.
Seasonal Tomatoes: Use the season’s best selection of tomatoes — you can use all fresh at the peak of summer, and all canned during the dark days of winter. Either way, make sure to keep some bigger tomato chunks to ensure a jammy texture.
Fall Squash Varieties: Use any varieties of fall squash for this recipe. Red Kuri squash, pumpkin, and Sweet Dumpling are some of my favorite. You need about a 2 to 2 ½ pound squash for this recipe.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 2 g||3 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||1 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 746 mg||31 %|
|Potassium 648 mg||19 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 31 g||10 %|
|Dietary Fiber 4 g||16 %|
|Sugars 16 g|
|Protein 5 g||10 %|
|Vitamin A||97 %|
|Vitamin C||69 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Shopping and Gear List
- PALMETTO FARMS Stone Ground White Grits, 32 OZ
- (2 PACK) HOT + SWEET SMOKED Spanish Paprika – Kiva Gourmet – From The Famous La Vera Region of Spain – 4 oz Total WT
- The Spice Hunter Thyme, Organic, 0.6-Ounce Jar