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HomeGrown’s Collard Greens and Cheezy Grits!

Every restaurant has a particular feel, usually a preconceived ambiance. The owner wants to impress upon you…hip, funky, HIGH-CLASS, or casual.

A couple weeks ago I walked into a new Asheville establishment called Homegrown. To say the atmosphere smacked me in the face would be putting it lightly. From the moment I stepped foot in the building I felt comfort, compassion and honesty. How could I sense all this in a second’s time, you wonder? I have magic powers.

In reality, some things are hard to explain, but after sitting down with owner Miki Kilpatrick, it all became clear.

Asheville locals Greg and Miki Kilpatrick opened their first business in 2007. Their catering company, Saffron, has been serving up regional flavors for the past  4 years. Yet a bigger dream awaited; one with walls and tables of their own.

Homegrown opened its doors October 4th, 2010, serving up farm-conscious food with southern flare. Within the first week their dining area was packed and their patrons list continues to grow.

Chef Greg focuses on using only ingredients that support our community. They say it’s a philosophy that stems from a Mediterranean way of living; to cook with simple ingredients that are in-season, available, and affordable. “Our goal is to take the food the shortest distance from the farm to the table.”

Miki shared a deeper goal of helping  provide a stable market for our local farmers to sell their harvest, that is, all of their harvest. She brought up the point that pesticide-free, vine-ripened produce doesn’t necessarily mean “pretty.” Being in the food industry for many years, she’s watched restaurants take only the most attractive produce, leaving farmers with excess they may have a hard time selling. Restaurants that want to have regional farms provide their food, need to consider this. Ugly tomatoes make just as tasty a sauce as flawless tomatoes! Buying local produce that is “B” quality in appearance, keeps the cost down, and still allows Homegrown to use the freshest possible ingredients. Miki wants to build a market that uses the surplus, reduces waste, and keeps farmers on their land doing what they do best.

She stated with conviction, “Homegrown will never be a profit-driven business.” Of course they want to provide for their little ones. Of course they want their restaurant to flourish, but they are driven by a greater desire to build sustainability throughout Western North Carolina.

HomeGrown's Collards and Cheezy Grits

Yield: 4-6 servings


For the Collards

  • 3-4 stripes bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 turnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 large bunches collard greens, stems removed and cut into 1 inch ribbons
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

For the Cheezy Grits

  • 4 cups whole milk (or fresh mozzarella whey)
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 1 cup yellow grits
  • 2 oz. grated Pepper Jack cheese
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. For the Collards: Place a large pot over medium heat. Render the bacon with the onions, garlic, and turnips until the onions are translucent~ 5-8 minutes. Then add the collards and sauté another 10  minutes.
  2. Add the stock, bring to a boil,. Then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. For the Cheezy Grits: Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the milk (or whey) and butter and bring to a simmer. Pour the grits in, whisking constantly to avoid  clumps.
  4. Simmer for 10-30 minutes (depending on the type of grits) until they are smooth and tender~ stir often. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

HomeGrown on Urbanspoon

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59 Responses to “HomeGrown’s Collard Greens and Cheezy Grits!”

  1. The Food Houndposted February 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I love it! This place SO fits the Asheville vibe! I will have to keep this on my list of places to eat next time I’m there!! I enjoy hearing about local finds in the area!


  2. Sanjeeta kkposted February 3, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Looks like a lively place to be in, love the collard and the gritzs recipes.


  3. Alisonposted February 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Looks great! Is this what went in where Picnics used to be?


    • Sommer — February 3rd, 2011 @ 7:36 am

      Yep! I was a little sad to see Picnics go, but thrilled to have HomeGrown show up!


  4. 5 Star Foodieposted February 3, 2011 at 9:03 am

    This sounds like an awesome place, how wonderful of them to share their special recipes for collard greens and grits!


  5. Soniaposted February 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

    this is looking so fresh and wonderful…nothing can beat the freshness of homegrown products !


  6. rebeccaposted February 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

    love little places like this where the owners are passionate about good food this is a fab Southern dish thanks for the encouragement sometimes it just gets me down


  7. Laura @ Family Spiceposted February 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

    What a great philosophy! Of course it all tastes great because of the high quality and freshness of the produce. I’ve never had grits or collard greens, but they look beautiful on the plate!


  8. Monetposted February 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

    This was an amazing post. I’m forwarding it to my husband because we would love to do this someday. What an inspiration this is! Thank you so much for sharing it with me…I only wish I could drive over to visit it today!


  9. Stephanieposted February 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Sounds like an awesome restaurant. I love their attitude and philosophy, plus the food sounds delicious!


  10. carolinaheartstringsposted February 3, 2011 at 9:56 am

    That foods looks wonderful. Next time I go to Asheville I will look this place up. NOthing better than cheese grits!


  11. Roxanposted February 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

    This restaurant is so cute! I totally get you are saying about its ambiance, it looks so welcoming and comforting. I would love to have a joint like that near my place. Food looks amazing too!


  12. Stellaposted February 3, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I have magic powers too, Sommer;) Though I’ve been trying me best not to use them lately (smile and kidding).
    I don’t live in Asheville, but Cauldron Boy always talks about taking The Bar in North Carolina. It’s his dream to live in Asheville, so I’ll remember ‘HOMEGROWN’. The food looks really wonderful!


  13. Belinda @zomppaposted February 3, 2011 at 11:17 am

    What a great find!! I’m so marking this place. You had be at cheezy grits.


  14. Priscilla - She's Cookin'posted February 3, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I love these kinds of places – for their food and their philosophy. Thanks for sharing their vision and awesome greens and grits!


  15. Cynthia mooreposted February 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Is the location on merrimon ave?? I love grits cooked right


    • Sommer — February 3rd, 2011 @ 11:55 am

      Yep! Where Picnics used to be. :)


  16. Angie's Recipesposted February 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This looks so good! I wish I could taste some homegrown collard greens. The restaurant looks very cozy and the chef sounds trustworthy.


  17. Pam Burr, Claremore, OKposted February 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Can you plese tell me what the third item on the plate is?
    Is that a tamale?
    What kind of sauce is on the item?


    • Sommer — February 3rd, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

      Hi Pam!

      It was blackened trout…and really good!


  18. Jennifurlaposted February 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    What a super place, I love the charm and atmostphere. Thanks for sharing.


  19. CLAIREposted February 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I am so glad they shared the recipe with your readers… this looks unbelievable! I love cheezy grits! I ws with Pam about the 3rd item… Looks good too though!


  20. brad wrightposted February 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Sommer, I have just have to comment on your exceptional website. I feel I was one of your early followers with my late nights working, walkig up and down the interstate reading your blog. Congratulations on a tremendous job of growing your blog and website. It is super informative, easy reading, and direct to the point. Keep up the good work, and if I was any kind of cook at all I know for a fact I would want Sommer Collier and A Spicy Perspective to do a write up on me!


    • Sommer — February 3rd, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

      Awe, thanks Brad! You made me get all teary-eyed!


  21. Steve @ HPDposted February 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Love their color scheme. Very cool logo, art, fonts, colors …

    And yours ain’t too shabby, either!


  22. Dmarieposted February 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Our last trip to Asheville got cut short…you keep making me think it might be time to schedule another!


  23. A Canadian Foodieposted February 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    It sounds like these guys know what they are doing. The restaurant and food looks perfect. Every community needs their local food heros!!!
    I have never eaten collard greens or grits. There is no place here on the Alberta Prairies that serves them up, either. When I eventually get to a travel location to try them, I certainly will!!!


  24. Claudiaposted February 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I just want to be cozy in their lovely place and partake. I wish them all good things on this wonderful enterprise. Brava to them for truly supporting their local farmer.


  25. A little bit of everythingposted February 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    love this kind of dinners. they make you feel like you’re right at home.
    those cheesy grits sound delicious. thanks for the recipe Sommer.
    Have a wonderful Friday


  26. Aldyposted February 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Sommer, Absolutely Beautiful!!! Love those kind of places. They make you feel cozy :)

    Lovely pics,

    Have a great weekend :)



  27. vtkitchenposted February 3, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I remember eating grits back when i lived in the south. they are so good! i haven’t had them in years, since moving out of the region. this post reminds me how i’m missing out. thanks for sharing!


  28. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchenposted February 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    This looks like a great little restaurant. They always have the best home cooking! I love the cheesy grits, my mom is from the south and used to make them all the time for me when I was younger! Yummy! :)


  29. girl parisposted February 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    oh my word.. greens.. at least that’s what I used to call them as a child (I wonder if anyone calls them that)? Grits… are just a souther thing…. never grew up there, NYC girl, but did live between the mason dixon….


  30. Sommer Jposted February 4, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Looks so delicious. I’ve been craving collard greens for a while, but they’re only available from October to December 31 here. so sad. This is certainly a food spot I’d love to go to. It seems as cozy as the food is delicious. Thanks for sharing, and sharing the recipes.


  31. Katerinaposted February 4, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Since I live in Greece I am familiar wit the idea of cooking whatever is in season and buy locally. It seems to me that this place will be a hit among conscious people of the community there!


  32. Jill Colonnaposted February 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

    That looks such a relaxing place to eat. Great food and ambience!
    Bon weekend.


  33. Victoria @ Mission: Foodposted February 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I love the concept of farm to table. I’m glad that they are doing their part to really support the local farms, and using good ingredients even if they may be slightly flawed-looking. Thanks for sharing those recipes too! I love cheezy grits :)


  34. Lora @cakeduchessposted February 4, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I love this post Sommer! I want to go back to Asheville just to visit this cute little place. Thank you for sharing these two great recipes:)Lovin’ the Cheezy Grits;)Hope you have a fantastic weekend my friend!


  35. Amanda @ bakingwithoutaboxposted February 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Oh wow! I want to go here. Funky downhome comforting goodness. Loved the photos of everyone at the restaurant and all the decor. But those grits – heavenly!


  36. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagelsposted February 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    What a cute restaurant! The food looks soooo incredible (the blackened trout is calling my name!!). I would have glady devoured everything. Thank you so much for the recipes, I can’t wait to try them. :)


  37. Pachecopattyposted February 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    We have the most beautiful collard greens in the market right now and I thank you, all of you, for this delicious recipe. The cheesy grits are looking pretty good along side, that’s for sure;-)


  38. Tiffanyposted February 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I want those grits right now!!!!! Great write up! Also, I’ve passed my Stylish Blogger Award onto you!!! You can see the post at: http://comowater.com/2011/02/04/hummingbird-cake/. Happy Friday!


  39. Lori Lynnposted February 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Look at that helping of collards! WOW. I like the idea of cutting into ribbons.
    Terrific name for the place.
    Best wishes to them for continued success.


  40. Tereseposted February 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Putting this #1 on my list of places to eat next! Thanks for the recipes too! Looks like something even I could fix and make taste good. :-)


  41. Katie@Cozydeliciousposted February 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    This place looks adorable! And I love love love cheesy grits!


  42. Magic of Spiceposted February 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    That does look and sound like a great place…I have not had either of these dishes since I was a child. My dads favorites :)


  43. Magic of Spiceposted February 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    That does look and sound like a great place…I have not had either of these dishes since I was a child. My dads favorites


  44. Angela FRSposted February 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    That plate of food looks soooooooo good–really, there is nothing better than cheesy grits and greens.


  45. Leslieposted February 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I found your site through Tasty Kitchen. I can’t wait to try the Homegrown’s Collards and Turnips recipe. I’ll have to look for their restaurant when I’m in Asheville next time. We live just down the mountain in TN (Johnson City). Thanks for sharing!


  46. Altaposted February 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Say collard greens and cheesy grits and I come running! This sounds so tasty. Thanks for sharing.


  47. Amy Bakes Everythingposted February 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I would LOVE to sit down at that restaurant! Collards and grits? Life doesn’t get any better than that!


  48. Kulsum@JourneyKitchenposted February 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I don’t even like collard green and here I’m wishing I had this for dinner! :)

    P.S. – I just started following you on twitter when I saw you unfollowed me because thats whn I realised you were on twitter! :( No hard feeling thts all I wanted to say. Cheers :)


    • Sommer — February 6th, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

      Hi Kulsum,

      Sorry about the Twitter unfollow! I have a program that manages Twitter for me and it unsubscribes to anyone I follow who hasn’t tweeted in over 3 months. The idea is to keep an accurate count of who I’m actually socializing with on a regular basis.

      I don’t know if you’ve been busy and haven’t had time for Twitter, or if it’s a glitch, but I’ll re-follow right now! :)

      Thanks for letting me know!


  49. Chef Dennisposted February 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    hi Sommer

    what I wouldn’t give to enjoy a plate of down home southern cooking like that! Cheesey grits, collards and biscuits! If I am ever down that way I know where I’m going to eat!


  50. Kristenposted February 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Those sound so good. I have just recently started cooking with collard greens and was pleasantly surprised at how much I like them.


  51. denise @ bread expectationsposted February 7, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Looks like a lovely and truly soulful place to eat or just hang out. Never had collard greens cooked like that or grits for that matter (unless grits is like polenta?) but I really would love to try both, cos they sound fabulous and well, I’m just greedy…


  52. Saraposted February 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Nice post Sommer. I love seeing people support each other :)


  53. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Timeposted February 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I’m not a big fan of grits (at all), but I love collards that have been prepared properly and these look fantastic. I’m marking this recipe down. Thanks for the interview with the folks in Asheville, for introducing me to their restaurant and to the wonderful recipe!


  54. Fresh and Foodieposted February 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I love collards. My friend has this amazing recipe — she won’t tell me exactly what’s in it, but I do know that it’s awesome! Maybe it’s the ham hock? Either way, delicious dishes!


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