Endless Summer Salad with Cherry Tomato Ragout and Cheese Grits

So you know how you’re listening to Eddie Vedder play the ukulele and then you get inspired to start wailing on your own, then one of the less-than five-year-olds from next door starts singing along even though they don’t know the words? I’m pretty sure my brain exploded from cuteness.

Or how about when you go to a gathering that you intended to just swing by for an hour max and end up staying until the early morning hours? Not only making new friends, but also having one of the best Would You Rather games of all time. (Hint: I will always choose cheese. I don’t care what else you throw at me.)

When two naps in one day sounds like a really good idea.

I rarely swim against the current, so when my body tells me it’s time to go for another run, I’ll pay attention. When I find myself turning strangers into besties, I let it happen.

And when I go to the grocery store intending to get ingredients for sweet potato mac and cheese but find piles of pluots for sale, I do some minor list adjustments and perpetuate my belief that summer is never going to end.

Half of me is from Kentucky. They eat grits there. Like, all the time. In their sleep. For dessert. Okay maybe not dessert but it’s more of a staple in the South than SPAM is in Hawaii.

Throw some freshly grated parmesan cheese in there and y’all will have a helluva meal.

Pluots are a crazy hybrid of plums and apricots. I used a Tropical Sunrise pluot.

I’m also uncontrollably obsessed with heirloom cherry tomatoes.

Ragout is so easy. All you have to do is reduce your vegetable of choice (tomato, spinach, mushroom, zucchini, and so on) with garlic, water and some olive oil before adding a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Remembering home with a purple hibiscus flower.

I don’t know when summer will end but I sure as hell am going to savor every last moment of warmth.

Endless Summer Salad with Cherry Tomato Ragout and Cheese Grits.

For the salad:
Spring salad mix
1 pluot, thinly sliced

For the ragout:
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the grits:
1/2 cup grits
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a small pot, heat up grits and water to a light boil, stirring occasionally as it thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat once all of the water is absorbed before adding salt and parmesan cheese. Mix until it’s a gloopy mess of yum.

As the grits are cooking, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil and add onions. Sautee until edges turn slightly brown. Take out onion and set aside.

Heat up the other two tablespoons of olive oil and add the tomatoes, letting cook for about 5 minutes before adding the garlic and water. Let the tomatoes reduce for about 10 minutes, until they begin to cave in. If some are lagging, poke them with a fork to expedite the process. Once the tomatoes are smooshed, add balsamic vinegar as well as some salt and pepper to taste.

Once you’re ready to serve. spoon out the grits onto a plate and create a well with a spoon in the center. Fill the well with ragout and generously pour the sauce over the grits. Top with onions and additional parmesan cheese.

Serves two.

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s