Grits and Greens Bowls with Blistered Tomatoes

 A warm, hearty bowl of creamy grits is topped with sautéed, bacon-y collard greens, blistered tomatoes, crispy bacon, goat cheese crumbles, and finished off with a fried egg. It really is a cozy, fall hug in a bowl. I can't get enough.

I really crave foods that transport me to fall time, and this dish does just that. Grits and Greens with Blistered Tomatoes is packed with flavor, texture, creaminess, and as much cozy that can fit in one bite. 

I first discovered a dish just like this at one of my favorite restaurants in Asheboro, NC - the Table Farmhouse Bakery. It's likely the most popular restaurant in the whole town, and there's good reason why. They have this Grits and Greens on their menu that they adapt for each season. However, this is my favorite version. 

It's such a cozy, comforting dish that tastes great any time of the year, but I especially crave it during the fall and winter months. It's hearty, filling, and pretty simple to whip up.

This recipe is easily adaptable for what you have in your refrigerator, and I have a list of substitutions down below. Refer to this if you're wanting to change it up a bit to fit with your family's preferences. 

Ingredients You'll Need for Hearty Grits and Greens Bowls

- Bacon

- Olive Oil

- Garlic

- Collard Greens, shredded

- Salt and Pepper

- Quick Cook Grits

- Butter

- Half and Half or Milk

- Cherry Tomatoes

- Eggs, cooked to preference (I love a sunny side, runny egg)

- Goat Cheese Crumbles

- Toasted Baguette, for serving, optional


How to Make Grits and Greens Bowls

1. For the crispy bacon crumbles: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Place 6 pieces of bacon on the lined sheet tray and bake for 16-17 minutes, or until it reaches your desired “crispiness.” Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. Once cooled, chopped into smaller pieces and set aside for sprinkling on the bowls.

2. For the sautéed collards: In a frying pan over medium-low heat, add remaining 2 strips of chopped bacon and render the fat off. Raise the heat to medium-high and allow the bacon to get crispy. Add the olive oil, garlic, and collard greens and stir to combine. Cover and allow the collards to steam and soften, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sometimes I add a little splash of water to help the collards steam. Check for doneness and cook to your preference. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. For the creamy grits: In a pot, cook 1 cup of quick cook grits according to package instructions. Once cooked, add in the butter, salt, and half and half (or milk.) Add as much milk as you prefer to thin the grits to your desired consistency - add more milk for thinner grits. Check for seasoning and butter. Add more if desired. Set aside.

4. For the blistered tomatoes: Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Once hot, add the tomatoes and let sit for 2 minutes without stirring. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and stir. Let cook and blister 2-3 more minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. To assemble: Portion out the grits into bowls, top with collard greens, blistered tomatoes, goat cheese crumbles, lots of chopped crispy bacon, and a fried egg. Enjoy!


Substitution Ideas

Grits - If you're not a big fan of grits, I love to make this bowl with either creamy polenta or mashed potatoes. However, I think most people don't like grits because they've had bad experiences with them. Add lots of butter, salt, and milk.. before fully counting them out. 

Collard Greens - I've never tried this recipe with anything other than collards, because I just love them. But, I'm sure this would be great with either sautéed kale, spinach, or even mustard greens.

Bacon - There are so many ways to change this bowl up. I love to make it with country ham, andouille sausage, chorizo, and so many other protein options.

Goat Cheese - Feta cheese is also a great option.

Tomatoes - I just love the juiciness and sweetness of the blistered tomatoes, but you can change it up for whatever you like. You can even skip this ingredient if you're not a fan of tomatoes. 

Fried Egg - If you're not a fan of eggs, feel free to skip this.


More Recipes to Get You in the Fall Spirit

With the abundance of apples during this season, there’s nothing better to make than this Perfectly Spiced Apple Crisp. It’s buttery, sweet, and delightful. It only gets better when topped with vanilla ice cream, and it can easily be made gluten free.

I don’t know why, but when I think of fall, I also think of salted caramel. It just feels like the perfect season for a salted caramel brownie, a hot caramel latte, or warm caramel drizzled over ice cream. Here’s the best & fool-proof Salted Caramel Sauce.

For the pumpkin spice lover, here’s a homemade & super simple Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte with a homemade pumpkin spice syrup. Forget the Dunkin’ or Starbucks drive thru. I’ve got you covered.

A huge fan of pumpkin, but not of gluten? Yeah, ditto. Check out the Ultimate Pumpkin Bread Recipe that is gluten free, or can be made regular - if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s heavenly, so tender & moist, and packed with allllll the fall flavors. It’s not tooo sweet and has the perfect amount of spice. YUM. and YUM.

As it gets cooler outside, a warm meal is just what I crave. A fall comfort food for me is Sloppy Joes with lots of saucy goodness. This recipe is truly the best and only one you’ll ever need. Trust me on this.

made the recipe?

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