The classic Italian basil sauce freshens a down-home favorite. Beaten egg whites give the grits a light, airy texture; the casserole will rise as it bakes but then fall shortly after coming out of the oven. Use caution as the grits cook on the stovetop; they tend to spatter, so stir them with a long-handled wooden spoon.
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg whites
Dash of cream of tartar
How to Make It
To prepare pesto butter, place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Scrape down sides; add butter. Process until well combined. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare casserole, combine milk, 1 cup broth, and salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat; add 1/2 cup cheese and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Cool slightly.
Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into grits mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon into a 2-quart soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until casserole has risen and begins to brown. Serve warm with pesto butter.