Every corner cafe or coffee shop has a stack of yogurt parfaits layered with fruit and granola, ready for you to grab and go. But what about people like me, who like savory instead of sweet for breakfast? Loaded with sausage, cheese and spinach, this grits parfait is just as gorgeous as its sweet counterparts.
I know that grits aren’t quick-cooking and need lots of time and attention to get soft and creamy. Yes, there are instant grits, but they’re not as good as their slow-cooking counterparts. Making grits for breakfast probably isn’t appealing on a weekday morning, but take some time after dinner, turn on some music, and make these while sipping a glass of wine. You can also make these on the weekend to start your week off right.
While the grits cook, make the filling of sauteed spinach and sausage. Layer everything in canning jars or your favorite microwave-safe container. In the morning, throw one in your bag before heading off to work. All you have to do is heat it in the microwave for a few minutes before you have a hot, satisfying breakfast that’ll keep you going for hours.
And while these are gorgeous little breakfast parfaits, you can also make them on a weekend morning and serve them straightaway in your favorite bowl instead.
Christine Gallary is a writer for TheKitchn.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Savory Grits Breakfast Parfaits
2 1/2 cups water, plus more as needed
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup grits (preferably stone-ground)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
8 ounces uncooked chicken, turkey, or pork Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (5- to 6-ounce) bag baby spinach
Shredded cheese, thinly sliced green onion or minced fresh chives, for topping (optional)
Bring the 2 1 / 2cups water, milk and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly pour in the grits while constantly whisking. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk frequently until the grits and liquid are completely incorporated, about 5 minutes.
Switch to a wooden spoon and cook, stirring every minute or two (make sure to get into the corners of the pan), until the grits are thick and creamy, about 45 minutes. (If the grits start to look dry and clumpy, stir in water a tablespoon at a time until it becomes smooth.)
Heat the oil in a large skillet pan over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the grits are cooked, stir in the cheese until completely melted and incorporated. Taste and season with salt as needed.
Spoon half of the sausage-spinach mixture into 4 (1-pint) mason jars. Spoon half of the grits over the mixture (about 1/2 cup per jar). Continue layering the remaining sausage-spinach mixture and grits. Sprinkle with the toppings of your choice. Cool completely, then seal and refrigerate for up to three days.
To reheat, remove the lid and cover the jar with a damp paper towel. Microwave until heated through, gently stirring it every 30 seconds.
Yield: 4 servings.