Fresh Corn Grits with Swiss Chard and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Bryant Terry provided us with this vegan version of grits in his amazing "Afro-Vegan" cookbook; our farm basket supplied the beautiful Rainbow Chard and fresh ears of corn. The roasted cherry tomatoes are not just a bright colorful garnish - they're super-sweet and very nearly our favorite ingredient in this recipe. Enjoy!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
- 2 lb cherry tomatoes quartered
- 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 12 oz Swiss Chard stemmed, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sweet corn fresh kernels from 2 large ears or frozen
- 3-4 green onions finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 3/4 cup yellow corn grits
- 1/2 cup Creamed Cashews see note
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Freshly round black pepper to taste
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 12 cups of water plus 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt to a boil.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Prep the tomatoes: put them in a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Toss gently to coat, and then spread them evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tomato skins start to brown.
Once the water is boiling, add the chard and cook uncovered for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chard to a colander; press and extract as much liquid as possible from the chard.
Remove the boiling water from the heat but do not discard. Add the corn to the water and let it sit for 1 minute. In the meantime, finely chop the chard. Remove the corn from the water but again, do not discard.
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat; add the green onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the minced ginger. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chard and 1/4 cup of the reserved water. Cover the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the chard is tender.
Put 3 cups of the reserved water plus 1 teaspoon Kosher salt into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly pour in the grits, whisking constantly (remove all lumps). Once you get the water back up to a boil, immediately bring the heat down to low. Simmer uncovered 3-5 minutes, until the grits have absorbed most of the water and have begun to thicken, whisking occasionally.
Add the remaining 1 cup of reserved water (or fresh water if you've run out!) and simmer, continuing to whisk, until most of the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cashew cream. Cover and simmer, whisking frequently until the grits are soft and fluffy, about 30 minutes. I whisked every 2-3 minutes. Stir in the corn.
Gently toss the roasted tomatoes with the red wine vinegar. Serve the chard over the grits with a turn or two of freshly ground black pepper. Add a small scoop of roasted tomatoes, and enjoy!
One of our favorite episodes of Alton Brown's Food Network show Good Eats was called True Grits, and it focused on explaining the difference between polenta and grits. As Alton explained, there really isn't a difference. In any case, here's a link to organic yellow corn grits if you want to be sure you're using the "right" ingredient for this recipe.
If you forget to make the Creamed Cashews the night before (like I did), use this shortcut: combine the cashews with boiling water and allow them to steep for an hour. Then proceed with the recipe: for every cup of raw cashews, use 1/2 cup water. After soaking (either overnight or with the quick-method I previously described), blend the nuts and water together until smooth and creamy. Store in a sealed container in your refrigerator, and use within 4 days.
Thank you to Bryant Terry for including this delicious recipe in his "Afro-Vegan" cookbook!