Herbed Grits Cakes With Garlicky Greens


It’s spring-cleaning time, and that goes for the cupboard and the garden, too. This week, I’m winding down my winter stockpile of grits from Riverview Farms and harvesting the winter greens from my little garden. This recipe, perfect for brunch, makes use of both those ingredients. To dress it up, serve it with Mushroom Sauce.

Tip: If you plan ahead and cook extra grits the next time you make them for breakfast, this recipe becomes an easy weeknight supper, too.

2 cups cooked grits, cooled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pesto or chopped fresh herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches Swiss chard, kale, beet greens or spinach, rinsed and rough-chopped
Mushroom Sauce, optional (see recipe)

1. In a bowl, combine the grits, cheese, green onions, red bell pepper and pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the beaten egg. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. With dampened hands, form the grits mixture into 8 patties. Cook 8-10 minutes per side, gently turning once, until cakes are browed and cooked through. Remove to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

2. Return the pan to the stove; increase to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the garlic. When garlic sizzles, add the greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes (kale will take a few minutes longer to cook). Divide the greens among 4 plates; top each with 2 grits cakes. Serve with Mushroom Sauce, if using.

Makes 4 servings. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Total time (not including grits preparation): 40 minutes