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Monday, February 1, 2010

Grits Casserole with White Beans and Rosemary

This recipe is from my Cookbook of the Month for January and February, The Best of Cooking Light.  What drew me to the recipe was the rosemary.  I used to not like rosemary.  I had only encountered it rarely, and when I did the shape and often charred manifestation of it reminded me of pine needles.  It wasn't an herb that made me want to come back for more.

My mom did not use many fresh herbs in her cooking, probably because they were not as readily available as they are now, and I'd imagine if they were available, they were expensive.  My mom used the be the queen of bargain shopping, and was an expert at coupon clipping.  Now that I am the primary cook, I am a huge fan of coupons and use them whenever possible, but I also have come to realize the fantastic flavor that fresh herbs can bring to a dish.  In my mind, they are worth the money in the winter especially.

This spring, now that we finally have a summer when we wont be moving, and a cute little outdoor yard and deck, we plan to plant three or four big pots of herbs for our own mini herb garden.  Rosemary is at the top of our list.  Chopped finely, and not left to it's normal pine needle like state, it's a great addition to many recipes and a flavor I am coming to greatly enjoy.  I did make one change to the recipe, I used bread crumbs we already had instead of the fresh bread crumbs.  The ones I had were made from whole wheat bread, so I think they added some extra nuttiness and worked just fine.

Grits Casserole with White Beans and Rosemary
Adapted from The Best of Cooking Light
Yield: 8 servings

1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
7 cups boiling water, divided
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular grits
2 tablespoons butter
Cooking spray

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley in a small bowl; set aside
  • Combine 3 cups boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes over a bowl, reserving 1 cup liquid.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved 1 cup liquid. Bring to a boil; cook 7 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and beans.
  • Combine 4 cups boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt, grits, and butter in a large saucepan. Cook 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour grits mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over grits; top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Information, per serving
Calories: 303
Fat: 7.4g (sat 3.4g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 10.2g
Carbohydrate: 47.2g
Fiber: 5.2g
WW Points: 6

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