Squash and Rice Grits With Romanesco
From Edouardo Jordan, chef and owner of June Baby and Salare in Seattle
START TO FINISH: 40 minutes
Jordan makes his rice grits yearround, using whatever vegetables with are in season. This is his favorite combo for fall. If he finds porcini mushrooms, he adds them by shaving them thin over the top of the dish.
4 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 onion, 1/2 thinly sliced, 1/2 finely diced Kosher salt 1 pound yellow squash, thinly sliced 1 pinch saffron 1 head Romanesco cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces 1 cup (7 ounces) rice grits (see note) ¼ cup dry white wine ½ ounce Parmesan, grated, plus more for serving Cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish Tarragon leaves, for garnish Lemon wedges, for serving
Note: You can purchase rice grits from ansonmills.com or make your own by pulsing long-grain white rice in a spice grinder or a blender until coarsely ground into bits that are one-third the original size.
1. In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, sliced onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the squash, saffron, and 11/3 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until all water is removed. Puree in a blender until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the Romanesco and cook until bright and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and reserve.
3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Add 31/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes.
4. Fold in the squash puree and continue cooking rice 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the Parmesan. Season with salt to taste. Divide among serving dishes and top with the Romanesco, tomatoes, and tarragon. Squeeze lemon all over the vegetables, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.