go to basket

Sautéed Carolina Gold Rice Grits

Pure simplicity: these aromatics, this rice.

About 3½ cups


About 15 Minutes


Elegant enough to slip onto a plantation sideboard, but easy to make, the sheen of butter on the grits wreathes them in balsam notes of laurel, sweet sautéed shallots, and the bracing minerality of minced celery. If you like your grits with a crispy finish, sauté them a bit longer.

Cooking Remarks

Should you be working with plain rice grits from an earlier meal and have less than 4 cups, break the recipe down accordingly. If the grits were buttered for serving, reduce the amount of butter you use to sauté the aromatics to a couple tablespoons or so.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a heavy-bottomed 3- to 4-quart saucepan, a wooden spoon, a fine-holed footed colander, and a large skillet (nonstick works nicely).

    • 6
      cups spring or filtered water
    • Fine sea salt
    • 7
    • ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter

    • 2
      small Turkish bay leaves, broken

    • 2 to 3
      tablespoons minced shallots

    • 2
      celery ribs, preferably the inner ribs, diced fine (⅔ cup)

    • ½
      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Bring the water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil in a heavy-bottomed 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Add the grits and stir once. As soon as the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the rice is just tender with no hard starch at its center, about 15 minutes. Drain the grits in a fine-holed footed colander and rinse well with cool water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water.


    Melt the butter in a large skillet (nonstick works nicely) over medium heat until it foams. Add the bay leaves, shallots, and celery and sauté until the shallots are translucent and the celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice grits, and stir until the grains are coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir the rice until it is hot and the flavors have melded, a few minutes more.