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Originally published December 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Page modified January 1, 2013 at 9:37 AM

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Recipe: Baked grits & greens

Even collard-haters won't object to this warm, homey casserole. It works great with frozen collards. Serves eight to 10.

The Charlotte Observer

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Even collard-haters won't object to this warm, homey casserole. It works great with frozen collards.

Serves eight to 10

2 ½ to 3 cups frozen collards

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits (not instant)

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

5 tablespoons butter, divided

2 large eggs

1 ½ cups shredded Parmesan

1/2 cup bottled creamy Caesar dressing

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 ¼ cups coarsely crushed garlic-flavored croutons

Place frozen collards in a strainer and rinse quickly with cold water. Drain, squeezing to remove most of the water. Set aside. (It's OK if there are some frozen chunks.)

Bring 4 cups of water and garlic salt to boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium. Cook five minutes, stirring often so it doesn't stick. Remove from heat and stir in onion and 3 tablespoons butter.

Place eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat lightly. Stir in the collards, Parmesan, dressing and pepper. Stir in about a quarter of the hot grits, stirring quickly so the eggs don't cook. Stir in the remaining grits, stirring constantly. Pour into a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. (Can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for 24 hours. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before finishing.)

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss with crushed croutons. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until mixture is set and croutons are golden brown.

Adapted from "Southern Living Home Cooking Basics," (Oxmoor House, 2012).

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