Sunday, February 19, 2012

to cushion the blow

If I had noticed this Artichoke Tart with Polenta Crust was from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, I would have bought it when I saw it at Auntie Em's for brunch this morning.

Matty had requested a quiche for dinner Friday night, and I thought this would be a good variation. However, as I got to reading through the complete instructions, I realized that it was a lot of steps that would take a lot of time. I mean - 10 minutes to make the polenta, 10 to cool it, 15 to cool the crust, 45 to bake and then 20 to cool (40 would be better??). Sounds like a Sunday Supper to me.

So we made do with a cozy soup for Friday's dinner, and I leisurely made this as the Lakers made an embarrassment of themselves in Phoenix tonight. Any time things got too uncomfortable to watch, I'd duck into the kitchen with the excuse that I had to check on it. It's a really good thing we had this comforting tart for dinner afterwards. That thick, hearty polenta crust could cushion the strongest of blows. It was a nice contrast to the light and bright filling. I was afraid the Greek yogurt would be too tart and even thought about adding another egg to the filling to make it more savory, but I'm glad I kept it as is. I'd dial back on the rosemary next time because I personally thought it was a little overwhelming with the other lighter herbs. I also didn't feel like I could taste the Brie, so I'd leave it out and save the calories next time. The original goat cheese called for in the recipe would obviously be a stronger flavor, but Matty's not a fan, so I subbed it out. Maybe some Gruyere next time?

I can't wait to have it again for breakfast tomorrow, as I'm sure ESPN will remind me again of the Lakers debacle while I'm at the gym in the morning.

Artichoke Tart with Polenta Crust
adapted ever-so-slightly from The Wednesday Chef

For the crust
2 1/2 c. water
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. medium grind cornmeal
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1/4 t. pepper

For the filling
2 large eggs
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onion, white and light green parts only
2 T. finely chopped parsley
1 T. finely chopped rosemary
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
12 oz. artichoke hearts, quartered (can be canned or frozen)
2 oz. Brie, rind removed
1/4 c. grated Parmesan

1. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the salt. Slowly add the cornmeal 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 9-inch pie pan with olive oil. Spoon the polenta into the pan and press it out, pushing it up the sides. Set aside for 15 minutes and then pat out an even rim about 3/4 of an inch thick.

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

4. Whisk the eggs, yogurt, green onions, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper together until well-combined. Distribute the artichoke hearts evenly over the polenta crust. Sprinkle the Brie on top of the artichokes and pour the yogurt filling evenly 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 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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