Well, yes, they can be. One of my favorite side dishes is grits. And, no, I'm not from the South nor did my family eat grits while I was growing up. But after tasting cheesy grits at a Waffle House on a visit to Mississippi, I decided to explore their potential as an alternative side dish. A few years ago, while planning an Easter dinner, I discovered the following recipe, which I use, now, for special occasions. So, in honor of Valentine's Day and of aphrodisiacs, I give you:
Creamy Grits with Arugula
Prepare enough grits for 6 servings, adding salt to the boiling water. Cooking time will vary depending on whether you use regular grits or quick-cooking grits. While the grits are simmering, saute 6 ounces of minced shallot in 1 tablespoon of butter until they are translucent. Lightly season with salt and pepper, then toss in 2 cloves of minced garlic and saute for another minute. Next, add 4 ounces of roughly chopped arugula and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat. As soon as the grits have cooked, add the shallot-garlic-arugula mixture and gently combine.
This goes well with beef tenderloin, although last night I served it with Osso Buco and roasted asparagus.
Many thanks to Chris of Mele Cotte for hosting this delicious Kitchen of Love event for lovers everywhere.
Happy Valentine's Day!