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Garlicky Tomato Salad with Stone-Ground Grits

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Vegan Planet: Garlicky Tomato Salad with Stone-Ground Grits

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Garlicky Tomato Salad with Stone-Ground Grits

On a driving trip through the countryside last week, I visited a mill where they grind their own grains. I picked up some bread flour, buckwheat flour, and some stone-ground grits, which I used to cook all the time when I was a chef in Charleston, SC, but they haven’t been on my home menu very often in recent years.

I simmered the grits in well-seasoned vegetable stock until thick. I then stirred in some shredded cheddar Sheese and a little Earth Balance and transferred it to a baking dish to cool. The next day, I cut it into triangles, arranged them on a baking sheet, and baked them until warm.

For a topping, I sautéed minced garlic in olive oil and then added a tumble of gorgeous little tomatoes that I picked up at the farmer’s market. The colors of the tomatoes ranged from yellow, to orange, to red -- so pretty! I added some parsley from my garden and sautéed the tomatoes just for a few seconds, basically just long enough to coat them with the garlicky olive oil. After adding a bit of salt and some cracked pepper, I spooned the tomatoes over the yummy yellow triangles.

The flavor was incomparable, and I especially enjoyed knowing it was made with local ingredients. Does that make me a “locovore herbivore”?

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What's the difference between grits and polenta? Or is it just in how it's prepared?
CV: Essentially, they are both simply coarsely ground corn. Both grits and polenta are initially cooked the same way, too -- simmered in water or vegetable broth. When I serve polenta, I usually go for Italian sauces and seasonings. For grits, I usually go more Southern-style, with a smoky vegan cheddar. This time, I sort of combined flavors of both Italy and the American South -- and it tasted great!
What a beautiful plate. I love grits (when seasoned and prepared well) and I love the idea of the tomato, garlic over the top as you have done.
beautiful dish! love all those bright tomatoey colors!
yummy! i love making polenta squares. that's what i call them. delicioso!
Sounds so yummy!! We'll have to try this. I love using local ingredients. What a score to find a place which grinds their own grains.
Perfect timing. I bought a big bag of bulk grits this week but have no instructions on how to prepare them. This helps.

by the way, I made gezpatcho soup the other day with heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market. It was the first time I've ever made that soup. It was so easy and SO GOOOD!
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