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    Grits & Greens Casserole

    Here we’ve combined two favorite Southern side dishes—grits and greens—into one casserole; it’s a natural choice to serve with Easter ham. Try omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian dish.

    Ingredients

    • 4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 16 cups chopped collard greens, or kale, stems removed (about 1 large bunch, 1 1/2-2 pounds)
    • 2 cups water, plus more as needed
    • 1 cup grits, (not instant)
    • 3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
    • 1/4 cup prepared salsa
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

    Instructions

    Step 1
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
    Step 2
    Place bacon (if using) in a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off the bacon fat.
    Step 3
    Return the pot to medium-low heat; add oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and starting to brown in spots, 2 to 8 minutes (cooking time will be quicker if you started with bacon). Add 1 cup broth and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Add collards (or kale); stir until wilted down to about one-third the volume and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Adjust heat during cooking to maintain a simmer, and add water, 1/4 cup at a time, if the pan seems dry.
    Step 4
    Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water and the remaining 1 cup broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Pour in grits in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until thick, about 5 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup cheese, salsa and egg in a small bowl. Remove the grits from the heat and quickly stir in the cheese mixture until combined.
    Step 5
    Working quickly, spread about half the grits in the prepared baking dish. Top with greens, spreading evenly. Spread the remaining grits over the greens. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the reserved bacon (if using).
    Step 6
    Bake the casserole until hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

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