I love using coarse ground yellow grits to make a creamy side dish instead of the typical rice or potato. It’s something you can keep in the pantry, and it comes together quickly. I always make a bit too much though, so I often serve leftovers for breakfast the next morning. We jokingly say that we have dinner with polenta, and wake up with grits.
For this recipe, the roasted tomatoes cook low and slow in the oven, so definitely start early. You can absolutely make them ahead though; the grits only take 15 or 20 minutes to cook.
First roast the tomatoes. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place tomato halves on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle minced garlic and salt and pepper on top. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, until tomatoes deflate and concentrate.
Make the grits. Heat water or stock to boiling, season with salt. Pour in grits and stir constantly until all water is absorbed. Stir in cream or half-and-half and cook over low heat until grits are creamy.
Fold tomatoes into grits, allowing them to break up slightly, but still leaving large chunks of tomato. Serve.