Thursday, April 3, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Okra with Southern Style Grits

I'm heading to Charleston, SC tomorrow - the epicenter of Creole and Southern cuisine!! Some of the best restaurants are found in Charleston, many of which are owned and run by James Beard-Award winning chefs! You might remember my last trip to the historic town.

Roasted Tomato and Okra with Southern Style Grits |

I have had this recipe hanging around for a while and thought it was all too appropriate to post before my trip. Southern food and Charleston make me think of shrimp and grits! Grits are one of those staple Southern dishes. It's easy to tell if someone is from the South by asking if they like grits. If the answer is "No," or "What the heck is a grit?" then you know they aren't from 'round these parts :)

The Hubby, even though born in the Mid-West, has lived in the South for close to 15 years now, so he is accustomed to grits and the (true) Southern ways. His favorite are pimento cheese grits, which are amazing, especially when you use my Spicy Pimento Cheese

For this recipe, I started with the idea of Shrimp and Grits in mind and put my own spin on it....a.k.a. made it healthier! We usually like to serve it with Shrimp, but for those that aren't into seafood, this is pretty great without it too!

Later Ya'll!

Roasted Tomato and Okra with Southern Style Grits |

Roasted Tomato and Okra with Southern Style Grits

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Southern style grits
4 cups fresh okra, roughly chopped
3 cups cherry tomatoes (yellow or red)
2 tablespoon fresh basil or oregano, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Grapeseed oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1/4 cup white wine or beer
cooked shrimp (optional)

Cook the Southern style grits per package instructions for 4 servings.

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, okra, oregano, olive oil and garlic, then stir to coat the vegetables well. 

Line a large baking sheet with foil and spread the vegetables in a single even layer on the sheet. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway.

While the vegetables cook, caramelize the onions. Heat the Grapeseed oil in a small pan over medium heat, then add the red onion and cook, stirring frequently until they start to brown, about 15-20 minutes. Add in the white wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. As you cook the onions, the sugars will release to brown and caramelize the onions.

To serve, scoop about a cup of grits into a bowl, layer the vegetables on top and garnish with the caramelized onions. Sprinkle with freshly chopped oregano or basil for added flavor. We like to add sautéed shrimp on top!

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