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A silky blob of burrata elevates this simple asparagus polenta to superstar status.

Change up your dinner game with renowned food writer and test kitchen master Melissa Clark. Dinner tonight is asparagus polenta with burrata. With recipes across the playing field, from a simple egg-based supper to an elaborate (but not difficult) roast, there’s something in the mix for everyone. Churn out stellar salads, hearty pastas, freshly baked bread and more with this versatile new volume.

A soft mound of polenta is a blank canvas of a meal, ready to absorb whatever you’re in the mood to put on top. I’ll often cook up a potful as a landing pad for all kinds of leftovers that aren’t quite substantial enough to be called dinner on their own—those couple of tablespoons of last night’s braised short ribs, a container of sautéed veggies, that small amount of cooked beans that have no other destination. In this recipe, the polenta is a bed for roasted asparagus and burrata cheese—a kind of mozzarella that oozes cream when you poke it. It’s a meal both comforting and company-worthy, especially if you serve it with a juicy rare steak or pork chops. I usually make my polenta with water. But if you want a richer flavor and have some good stock in the freezer, feel free to substitute it for all or part of the liquid in any of the recipes in this chapter.

Reprinted with permission from Dinner