We think it's fair to say we can't get enough shrimp and grits in our lives, which inspired us to create this Italian-inspired take on a Southern classic. Fresh, aromatic basil pesto pairs perfectly with these tender shrimp, and pleasantly pungent pecorino cheese complements creamy grits. All this alliteration ought to augur an auspiciously awesome meal.
Mince garlic. Cut mushrooms into ¼" slices. Halve grape tomatoes. Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and season both sides with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
Cook the Vegetables
Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms to hot pan and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lightly browned. Add garlic to pan and cook 1 minute, while stirring, or until fragrant. Remove from burner and add grape tomatoes to pan. Stir and season with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Remove vegetables to a plate, cover, and set aside. Wipe pan clean.
Cook the Grits
Once water is boiling, add grits in a steady stream, along with ¼ tsp. salt, and stir. Reduce heat to low and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, or until grits are smooth and thickened. Remove from burner and stir in butter and pecorino (reserve a pinch for garnish). Cover and set aside. As cooked grits begin to cool, they may "tighten" up. If this occurs, stir in warm water 1 Tbsp. at a time to return to a smooth, creamy consistency.
Cook the Shrimp
Return pan used to cook vegetables to medium-high heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil. Add shrimp to hot pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp is golden brown and reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove pan from burner, add basil pesto (reserve a pinch for garnish), and toss to coat.
Plate the Dish
Place a serving of grits on a plate or in a bowl. Top grits with cooked vegetables and shrimp. Garnish with remaining pecorino and drizzle with remaining basil pesto.