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Garlicky Tomato Salad with Stone-Ground Grits

On a driving trip through the countryside last week, I visited a mill where they grind their own grains. I picked up some bread flour, buckwheat flour, and some stone-ground grits, which I used to cook all the time when I was a chef in Charleston, SC, but they haven’t been on my home menu very often in recent years.

I simmered the grits in well-seasoned vegetable stock until thick. I then stirred in some shredded cheddar Sheese and a little Earth Balance and transferred it to a baking dish to cool. The next day, I cut it into triangles, arranged them on a baking sheet, and baked them until warm.

For a topping, I sautéed minced garlic in olive oil and then added a tumble of gorgeous little tomatoes that I picked up at the farmer’s market. The colors of the tomatoes ranged from yellow, to orange, to red — so pretty! I added some parsley from my garden and sautéed the tomatoes just for a few seconds, basically just long enough to coat them with the garlicky olive oil. After adding a bit of salt and some cracked pepper, I spooned the tomatoes over the yummy yellow triangles.

The flavor was incomparable, and I especially enjoyed knowing it was made with local ingredients. Does that make me a “locovore herbivore”?