Chef Gina Veneziano Makes Shrimp and Grits-ish, in a CSA Main Course
Having received cauliflower in my last few CSA boxes, I’ve been thinking about potential main-courses with this versatile vegetable for a while now. I’ve seen cauliflower “steaks” popping up on trendy restaurant menus and I’ve made both cauliflower fried “rice” and mashed cauliflower a handful of times but I wanted something a little more unique for this recipe. The idea of “grits” kept coming back to me so I decided to test it out and see if I could get this often substituted-in vegetable to taste and feel as decadent and creamy as the original, real grits.
Typically ground corn or hominy, grits are often cooked with milk and butter, and I gave the lean, humble cauliflower the same, rich treatment – accompanied by a flavorful medley of garlic, shrimp and sausage, the slightly healthier version of this classic “Shrimp and Grits” dish, did not disappoint!
In fact, the cauliflower actually took less time to cook than traditional grits do, getting this simple yet satisfying dinner on the table even quicker.
Shrimp And Grits-ish
Prep Time: 25 min
Makes: 2 servings
For the “grits”:
- 1 Large head of cauliflower, cut down to florets
- 1 Cup milk
- 2 TBS butter
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- ½ Cup grated cheese of choice
For the shrimp:
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 4 Links sausage of your choice, sliced
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- 8-10 Medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 TBS Lemon juice
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until fine, slightly smaller than grains of rice. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of the food processor.
- Transfer minced cauliflower to a large pan, add milk and butter and bring to a simmer. Stir over medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes, until the mixture comes together, looking like grits.
- Removed from heat, add salt & pepper as needed. Stir in cheese until completely melted. Set aside, cover to keep warm while making shrimp.
- Heat olive oil in a pan, add sausage, cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes
- Add shrimp and garlic to the pan with sausage and continue to sauté until shrimp turns pink, indicating it is cooked through, approx. 2-3 mins per side
- Remove from heat, finish with lemon juice. Plate cauliflower, spoon shrimp & sausage mixture over “grits”, serve immediately
Note: for a lighter option, omit sausage all together OR if no sausage is on hand, bacon works wonderfully in this dish as well.
About Chef Gina Veneziano
Hailing from a long line of chefs, Gina spent much of her early childhood at her family’s restaurant. Always wanting to make a career of it, she has spent the last 15 years doing everything from interning at a butcher shop to concepting food trucks to catering sales to most recently, recipe development and culinary innovations. She prides herself in being the only person to successfully recreate her grandmother’s famous meatballs – you can usually catch her, apron on, and a glass of prosecco in hand – cheers!