The first time I had grits was a rainy Sunday brunch at a shi-shi French-Southern restaurant in West Nashville. I had their version of shrimp and grits. The shrimp comes in this deliciously flavorful sauce and when you mix it into the grits, each bite is a flavor and textural swirl of delight. This was also the first time I had shrimp and grits which has made my top ten list of favorite foods, since. Grits are like rice; they go with anything really.
Couple weeks ago, our CSA arrived with an overwhelming bag of turnip greens, kale and arugula. When I showed N our bag o’ greens, he replied with “is that all ours?”
“Yes!” I said just as scared.
Sunday morning, I sat down in front on the TV with my laptop on my lap to research recipes. After ten minutes of finding only recipes for collard greens, I finally stumbled upon a website that I hadn’t been to before, yummly.com. Here I found the recipe that has become a permanent part of my cooking repertoire: it was a recipe for greens and sausage with grits. (Click here for the original recipe) After looking at the recipe, I knew exactly what to do. I cooked the kale and turnip greens together in a large pot with 4-5 cups of unsalted chicken broth, grilled seasoning, and a handful of garlic cloves. Once the greens cooked down, they looked way more manageable. I froze half the greens for the next week and made the recipe with my low-calorie modifications which include using water and olive oil in the grits instead of cheese and milk and using turkey andouille instead of port andouille. When I opened my lunch container at work the next day, almost all my co-workers asked me what it was and commented on how good it looks. It was definitely the highlight of my lunches.
As for the scary amount of arugula, N and I barely every purchase arugula and have one pasta salad recipe that we used in 2008 which calls for arugula. I chose to make something super simple with the arugula and let me tell you that it got the same feedback as the turnip greens and grits recipe got. N made left over pasta(we had 1 cup of elbow pasta and 1/2 a cup of whole wheat penne left in our pantry) with pesto, peas, butcher-cut bacon, and arugula. It was light, delicious and fresh up till the last bite. This was the best arugula I’ve ever had. In fact, I didn’t know arugula could taste so good!
I used to cook a lot on Sundays and ate the same lunch all week or until it ran out. This fall, thanks to the farmers at Olin-Fox Farms, I have a variety of meals in my lunch box and I get excited to cook on a work night. The irony is that I thought because we were signing up for a CSA, we would be limiting our options for meals and the opposite has happened. I am expanding my repertoire one CSA drop-off at a time.