“The world’s traditional cuisines all focus on modest amounts of deliciously seasoned food that balance the complex carbohydrates of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Yet they all leave room for fabulous feasting. To my way of thinking, the Slow Food Meatless Monday effort fits in that same spirit. It helps us think about nourishment in a healthy way.” – Rick Bayless
White Sweet Potato Grits
1 cup stone-ground Anson Mills white corn grits
2 teaspoons salt, plus more when needed
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 large camotes (white sweet potatoes) or sweet potatoes, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (divided use)
A few tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (divided use)
1-2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
About 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
A handful of cilantro leaves
In the removable, stove-top-safe insert of a 6-quart slow cooker (or a large (4-quart) saucepan if your slow cooker does not have a stove-top safe insert) set over high heat, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Slowly whisk in the corn grits, continuing to whisk vigorously until incorporated. Add the two teaspoons salt and the black pepper. Return the insert to the slow cooker (or transfer the mixture from the saucepan to the slow cooker). Cover and turn it onto high for 6 hours.
While the grits are cooking, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Slide into the oven for 15 minutes, then strew the red onion over the sweet potatoes, stir to coat with oil, then roast the mixture until softened and golden brown, about 15 more minutes.
Scoop half the sweet potatoes and onions into a food processor, along with the chipotle chiles. Pulse until coarsely pureed, adding up to ¼ cup water if the mixture appears very thick.
Scoop the sweet potato-onion-chipotle mixture into the slow cooker, stirring to combine. Spoon the grits into warm bowls, garnishing each serving with remaining sweet potato wedges and red onion, crumbled goat cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately.