I always feel a little self-conscious about the amount of traveling I’ve done, which is to say I haven’t done that much. I’ve had my fair share of off-kilter trips (Alaska for Christmas! The Northwest Territories!), but never the grand ones that involve a passport. I suppose there are plenty of draw-backs to this, but there’s certainly an upside: I am extra enchanted with even the smallest things a new place has to offer. There was a lot of this during my holidays in Charleston (Grapes growing in someone’s yard?! A sideporch!)
There’s a lot of amazing food happening in Charleston too. Food like Emily talked about in the most recent episode of Alphabet Soup that updates a classic just enough to get our attention, yet keeps the comfort we crave. In that spirit, I came home from the south and cooked up some unconventional grits.
Before the holidays, Bob’s Red Mill sent me some of their new millet grits to try (PS: I loved receiving this gift, but my opinions are all my own). I am always on the look-out for more gluten-free whole grains, so I was really excited about these. I paired them with buckwheat and amaranth to make three-grain grits. I know this is the time of year when folks feel obligated to be extra-virtuous, but I’m a big fan of balance so I brought plenty of fancy butter to this whole grain party.
These cook up quick and will work for any meal. I kept these very, very simple, but they’re far from bland. I eschewed stock and didn’t season too much, so the unique flavors of each grain could shine through. This means they’re also a perfect palette for big flavors: top this with maple syrup for breakfast or serve it alongside some bitter greens for dinner.
Yield: serves 2
- 1/8 cup amaranth
- 1/8 cup millet grits
- 1/8 cup buckwheat (medium granulation)
- 2 cups water
- to taste butter
- to taste salt
- In a small stainless saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the amaranth until many kernels pop and those that don't pop toast and become a golden brown, stirring constantly. Not all the kernels will pop and you may need to adjust the heat a bit to avoid burning.
- Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the buckwheat and millet grits and reduce heat to very low.
- Simmer, stirring intermittently, until mixture thickens and grains are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- Season with salt to taste and top with butter.
- If, like me, you’re strictly gluten-free, make sure your grains haven’t been cross-contaminated. If you’re buying Bob’s Red Mill products, look for a red gluten-free seal (see the bag of millet grits above).
- Buckwheat is sold in different granulations, which just means that it’s ground up (or not). Medium granulation works best for this recipe.