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This is such a pretty tart, but the recipe came about because I was facing two very practical problems. One, I had bought the wrong size tart pan online, and needed to find some way to use it so I could justify my oops as a useful purchase. (Is this the wrong place to make such a ridiculous confesssion?)  And two, I really find most tart crusts rather fiddly, but this one sounded wonderful because it was made with polenta. Infinitely more forgiving. And…we were off!

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My husband doesn’t like artichokes, and he will remind me of this fact often, pretty much every time I make something that contains artichokes. This was one of the rare occasions where he overcame his bias and just delivered a verdict of “awesome”. The crust is firm on the outside but quite soft and creamy within. And the filling has a lovely tang from the yogurt and goat cheese. I made the recipe pretty much as printed (sans parsley), but can think of many ways to doctor up the filling mixture, or sub out other vegetables for the artichokes.

Polenta requires some babysitting, but it couldn’t be easier to make. Just remember to keep whisking, keep whisking, and you’re good to go.

Artichoke Polenta Tart
Recipe from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck
Crust:
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups polenta
1/2 cup (about 2.5 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese (I only used 1/4 cup, I was feeling virtuous)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring the broth and water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the salt. Slowly add the polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly, and continue whisking for 30 seconds. Decrease the heat to low and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon every few minutes to keep the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Stir in the cheese, egg and pepper.

2. Grease a 10-inch tart pan or cake pan with olive oil. Have a glass of cold water ready. Spoon the polenta into the pan and press it out, pushing it up the sides. Dip a wooden spoon or your hands in the cold water to help the polenta along. Set aside for 15 minutes and then form an even rim about 3/4 of an inch thick with moist fingers, pressing firmly. Don’t worry if the crust looks rustic.

3. Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F.

Artichoke filling:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (lowfat is fine)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (I really dislike parsley so left it out, to no ill-effect)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces artichoke hearts, canned or frozen
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Whisk the yogurt, eggs, scallions, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper together until well-combined. Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters and distribute them evenly over the polenta crust. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top of the artichokes and pour the yogurt filling evenly over the artichokes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

2. Bake the tart until the top turns golden brown and the filling is set, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes, though 40 is better. The tart can be prepared up to one day ahead.

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