Dallas chef Stephan Pyles loves corn in all its guises—tamales, cornbread, tortillas, and of course, the darling of today’s Mediterranean menus, polenta. “I’ve even made polenta croutons for Caesar salad,” he says. But for a change, he wanted to do something “desserty,” so the former owner of Star Canyon restaurant transformed the normally neutral dish with sugar, a dash of vanilla, and mascarpone cheese. Served with roasted ripe nectarines and a heady sauce of port wine, blueberries, and lime juice, his creation gives corn a luscious new dimension. You’ll find this and nearly two hundred other wonderful recipes in Pyles’s newest cookbook, Southwestern Vegetarian, published in September by Clarkson Potter.

Try this recipe for Sweet Mascarpone Polenta With Roasted Nectarines from Southwestern Vegetarian.