Chef Jonathan Brooks puts a fun spin on buttery grits by making the dish with quinoa instead of cornmeal. Slideshow: More Quinoa Recipes 

July 2015


Credit: © John Kernick

Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins




Make the grits
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and porridge-like, about 25 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.

Make the shrimp and corn
  • In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate; let cool.

  • Wipe out the skillet. Add the corn and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 10 to 12 minutes. Cut the kernels off of the cobs and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the basil, cilantro and scallions and season with salt and pepper.

  • Wipe out the skillet and melt the butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.

  • Spoon the quinoa grits into shallow bowls and top with the grilled corn, shrimp and pumpkin seeds. Garnish with chile powder and cotija cheese and serve with lime wedges.

Make Ahead

The grits can be refrigerated for 2 days. Thin with chicken stock or water if they are too thick.

Suggested Pairing

Pair these creamy grits with a honeydew-scented, medium-bodied Spanish white.