Vivian Howard's Grits and Greens with Hot Sauce and Pork Rinds

This one-pot recipe for grits and greens will guide you through classic Southern cooking at its finest. The three keys to this dish, says Vivian Howard, chef and author of Deep Run Rootsare acidity, heat, and the additional fat. Follow the recipe closely for those, and you'll be on course for something special. 

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1 lb Turnip greens
4 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Salt (divided)
1/4 tsp Chili flakes
1 Batch grits
1 cup Chicken stock
15 Gurns of the pepper mill or 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tbsp Butter (divided)
1 cup Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Brown-Butter Hot-Sauce Vinaigrette
4 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tbsp Hot sauce
1/4 tsp Salt

Cook the greens and assemble the grits: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the tough end off of the turnip greens and slice the remaining stem and leaves into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, the skillet you will bake the grits in, cook the garlic in the oil over medium heat until it just starts to sizzle. Quickly, because brown garlic is bitter burned garlic, add the greens, 1 teaspoon salt, and the chili flakes. Using tongs, toss the greens around as they wilt.

Once the greens are just wilted, dump them in a large bowl with the grits, chicken stock, black pepper, 2 teaspoons butter and Parm. Rub the inside of the cast-iron skillet with the remaining 1 teaspoon butter and spoon the grits and greens into it. Slide the skillet onto the middle rack of the oven and bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette and serve: In an 8-inch sauté pan or skillet, melt the butter. Do not use a cast-iron black-bottomed skillet here, because you will not be able to see the butter browning. Once the butter melts, it will foam and fizz and eventually start to brown a little on the bottom. When you see this beginning to happen, make sure you swirl the pan around so that all the milk solids brown evenly. Do not walk away.

Once butter is nutty in color as well as aroma, carefully stir in the lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt. Let it bubble up for about 15 seconds, then spoon the hot vinaigrette over the baked grits and top with the pork rinds. Serve right away. Enjoy!