Why was I attracted to the “Artichoke Tart with Polenta Crust,” from Maria Speck’s Ancient Grains for Modern Meals? Because its crust is made of grits (I’ve never done that) and it’s full of favorites: Greek yogurt, artichoke hearts, goat cheese, and parmesan. I was happy when the crust turned out to be structurally sound.

After stirring the polenta/grits, then adding the parmesan and egg, I was satisfied to press the sandy mix into my cake pan with my hands. I did not, however, manage to make the “even rim” that was suggested in the recipe. Indeed, my crust was as “rustic” as it could be.

For my filling, I did use canned artichoke hearts. The yogurt and goat cheese contributed to a wonderful tangy flavor. The fresh rosemary was evident, too. The tart slices were firm, crisped, and sandy textured. This tart benefits by cooking ahead of time and waiting, patiently, for you to eat it. Let it sit.

Shall we fuss over potatoes? I don’t often dare to mess with the simple perfection of potatoes. But here I go. The “Potatoes with Leeks and White Wine,” from The Daily Spud, were glorious. We absolutely loved the way the smooth sweetness of the leeks and white wine were enriched by the starch of the Yukon Golds. Adding to this were the welcome brininess of olives and Dijon mustard. These were “wow” potatoes.

I doubled the amounts in this recipe, to make 4-6 servings. I included 10 oz. of a California Chardonnay. Some capers (and their brine) were thrown in, to heighten the party. I needed 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt at the end. Sigh. Put these potatoes together for yourself and you won’t be disappointed.

PRICES
Canned Artichoke Hearts (12 oz.) = $2.28
Goat Cheese (2 oz.) = $3.42
Leeks (2) = $2.27
Yukon Gold Potatoes (2.63 lbs.) = $1.97

RECIPES: a rewarding tart requires little finesse, while potatoes are elevated to a boozy smoothness
PREP TIMES:
tart needs more than two hours to prep and cook (but then it can sit and wait for you to eat it); enjoy the potatoes after an hour of attention
TASTES:
sandy cornmeal makes a firm crust, Greek yogurt and goat cheese are tangy; starchy potatoes are coated in the smooth sweetness of leeks and white wine

Next time, I’ll cook a lovely cake. I want to try the “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake,” from bakeorbreak.com. How could I ignore such a recipe? Come back to my site soon, to witness this.