Savory Grits with Slow-Cooked Collard Greens
Chef Mark is at it again, making a dish so good that we’ve had it twice since Sunday. This recipe brings together Bryant Terry’s version of Ethiopian greens with ginger, habanero and bell peppers with creamy grits... and it is perfect.
The recipe inspiration comes from the aforementioned Bryant Terry’s book Afro-Vegan which has become a major and much needed source of inspiration. I’ve said it in a previous post, but I’ll say it again in case you missed it... Bryant even suggests a song to listen to while you are cooking! Just go get his recipe book already, it’s gorgeous and loaded with incredible recipes and songs.
The only modification made to the recipe was substituting a half of a habanero for jalapeno (because we grow the former, not the latter). Other than that, you can find the recipe below; or read it in Afro-Vegan page 108.
2 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 pound of collard greens, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups vegetable stock (1 cup for collards, 4 for cooking the grits)
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 habanero, seeded and minced
3/4 cup yellow corn grits
1/2 cup creamed cashews (leave a message below if you’d like the recipe for that and I will add it on!)
Add about 12 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt, then add the greens and cook uncovered until softened, about ten minutes. Drain well, pressing the greens to extract as much liquid as possible. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and chop finely.
Warm the oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, chili powder, cayenne, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Saute until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about ten minutes. Add the garlic and saute for two minutes. Stir in the greens and stock and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, about 45 minutes. (Full disclosure- we didn’t have the patience for the full simmer and cut it off about about 25 minutes- to seriously delicious results). Stir in the bell pepper and half a habanero. Increase the heat to medium high, cover, and simmer for two minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
While the greens are simmering, make the grits. Put 3 cups of the stock and the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly pour in the grits, whisking constantly until no lumps remain. Return to a boil, then immediately decrease the heat to low. Simmer uncovered, whisking occasionally to prevent sticking, until the grits have absorbed most of the liquid and are beginning to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup stock and simmer for ten minutes, whisking occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the cashew cream, cover, and simmer, whisking frequently, until the grits are soft and fluffy, about thirty minutes. (Again, we were too impatient and ended up eating the grits after about 15 minutes of cooking).
To serve, top the grits with the greens, using a slotted spoon so that the liquid drains from the greens. Add a splash of hot-pepper vinegar and season with black pepper.