Creamy Polenta with Asparagus


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Weeknight Cook

The Weeknight Cook

By Brigit Binns

Published 2012

  • About


  • Mascarpone cheese, cup (6 oz/185 g), at room temperature
  • Lemon zest, from 1 lemon, finely grated
  • Asparagus, lb (750 g), tough ends removed
  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Milk, 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml)
  • Instant polenta, 1 cup (7 oz/220 g)
  • Parmesan cheese, ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly shaved shards


  • Cook the asparagus

    Preheat the broiler (grill). In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone and lemon zest; set aside. Place the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, lightly toss with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Broil (grill) until tender-crisp and slightly charred, about 6 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  • Cook the polenta

    In a saucepan over high heat, bring cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) of the milk and 1½ cups water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally, until the polenta is thick and smooth, 3–5 minutes. Whisk the remaining ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) milk into the polenta. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with the asparagus. Top with a dollop of the mascarpone, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and serve.