One of the greatest compliments I've ever gotten was from a coworker who grew up in Alabama.
She said to me, 'you're the closest I've found to a Southern Belle outside of the south.'
I have been trying to live up to that title for about five years now, wearing the fullest skirts whenever possible, drinking everything out of fancy glasses, never arriving to somebody's home without full arms, and eating grits for breakfast perhaps a little too often.
The first time I had grits was in Charleston, on a trip dripping with mystery and charm. Since then I've realized that cheesy grits are basically the next best thing to mac n' cheese when you're gluten free! Not only do I love the flavor of roasted broccoli with cheddar, I also feel much better about eating a bowl of cheesy carbs when there's something green in the mix.
This recipe comes together in a half an hour and though I find it to be a perfect cozy breakfast, it's also a great side dish!
Cheddar Grits with Roasted Baby Broccoli
makes two hearty servings, four sides
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter
1/2 c stone ground grits (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 c milk
4 oz mild cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bunch broccolini
2 TBSP olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 and trip the ends off of the baby broccoli.
Toss the baby broccoli in olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet in the preheated oven.
While the broccoli is roasting, prepare the grits. Bring the vegetable stock, salt and butter to a boil. Stir in the grits and bring the temperature all the way down to the lowest temperature possible (low and slow is the secret to creamy grits!) so it's just gently simmering. Stir quite often for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the milk and cook for about ten minutes more before stirring in the cheddar and black pepper to serve.
Remove the broccoli from the oven when it's crisped and the flowerheads are just browned. Serve over grits in delight.