Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time
40 Mins
Total Time
55 Mins
Chill Time
6 Hours
48 triangles

These crispy grits triangles are perfect party appetizers. They are easy to make in advance and can be topped however you like. Instead of pesto, you can try a dollop of chunky marinara sauce, a spoonful of pimiento cheese, or roasted red pepper strips. After pouring the cooked grits onto a baking sheet, place plastic wrap directly on top (touching the grits) to prevent a skin from forming.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring milk to a low simmer in a saucepan over medium. Gradually whisk in grits. Let come to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking occasionally, until very thick, about 12 minutes. Whisk in 2 ounces of the grated cheese and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Pour grits onto a 13- x 9-inch rimmed baking sheet or quarter sheet pan, and spread evenly. Press plastic wrap directly on surface. Chill until set, at least 6 hours or up to 3 days. 

Step 2

Combine basil, parsley, olive oil, and pine nuts in a food processor. Process until a paste forms, 15 seconds. Add remaining 1 ounce grated cheese and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, 15 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of pesto, and chill.

Step 3

Cut chilled grits into 24 (2 1/4- x 2-inch) rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half diagonally to yield 48 triangles. Working in batches, dredge triangles in cornmeal, shaking off any excess. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Step 4

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven; heat over high to 360°F. Fry triangles, in batches, in hot oil until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Serve warm topped with pesto (reserving remaining pesto for another use). Garnish with shaved cheese and small basil leaves.