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Artichoke-Rosemary Tart with Polenta Crust

This super-easy polenta crust doesn't require a rolling pin or a baker's touch. Serve this savory tart at a barbecue or other summer gathering.
By Maria Speck
April 2011 Web
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"Ancient Grains for Modern Meals" features Mediterranean-inspired recipes starring Old World grains such as farro, barley and polenta.
Photo Courtesy Ten Speed Press
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The following is an excerpt from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press, 2011). The excerpt is from Chapter 6: Modern Mains. 

Artichoke-Rosemary Tart with Polenta Crust
Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as a starter 

Polenta Crust: 

1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups polenta or corn grits
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (about 21/2 ounces; use the large holes of a box grater)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Artichoke Cheese Filling: 

1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (about 3)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package frozen quartered artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. To make the polenta crust, bring the broth and the water to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the salt. Using a large whisk, slowly add the polenta in a thin stream, and continue whisking for 30 more seconds. Decrease the heat to low and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon about every 2 minutes to keep the polenta from sticking to the bottom. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. The polenta will be fairly stiff. Stir in the cheese, egg, and pepper.

2. Grease a 10-inch ceramic tart pan with olive oil or coat with cooking spray, and place on a wire rack. Have ready a tall glass of cold water. Dip a wooden spoon into the water as needed as you spread the polenta mixture across the center of the pan, pushing it up the sides. Set aside to firm up at room temperature, about 15 minutes, and then form an even rim about 3/4 inch thick with your slightly moist fingers, pressing firmly. No need to fret over this—it’s easy.

3. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.

4. Prepare the artichoke cheese filling. Place the yogurt, eggs, green onions, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a 2-cup liquid measure or a medium bowl and combine well with a fork. Distribute the artichoke quarters over the crust, cut sides up, forming a circle along the rim and filling the center (you might not need all the hearts). Sprinkle the goat cheese on top and gently pour the filling over the artichokes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

5. 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 set aside at room temperature to firm up for at least 20 minutes, 40 if you can wait. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut into slices. Serve with more freshly ground pepper on top if you like.

To get a head start: The polenta crust, as in steps 1 and 2, can be prepared 1 day ahead, as can the entire tart. Cool to room temperature, chill for a couple of hours, and then cover with plastic wrap. Allow the tart to come to room temperature before serving, or gently reheat to warm (not hot) in a 325ºF oven for about 20 minutes.

To lighten it up: Use 1 cup non- or lowfat Greek yogurt in the filling instead of whole-milk yogurt.

Reprinted with permission from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc 

More recipes from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals:

• Rustic Linguine with Summer Herbs and Olives 

• Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart with Walnuts 


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