With the publication of Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make, Melissa Clark has now written 32 books. She also writes for numerous print and online publications including The New York Times, as well as her own terrific blog…the woman is amazingly prolific. When I met her in Atlanta last May, I discovered that she’s also incredibly nice…truly a lovely person, inside and out.

I would say lots of nice things about Cook This Now if it was simply a great collection of recipes…the ones Melissa makes for her family and friends. But it’s much more. Instead of utilizing typical cookbook chapters, the recipes are categorized by the month in which the main ingredient is in season. It’s pretty brilliant, and perfect for anyone who wants to eat delicious, wholesome meals made with local foods from their own garden or their favorite Farmer’s Market.

The recipes are inventive without being “far-out”- the same type of fare I cook up for my own family, and I am really enjoying each and every entertaining and informative recipe headnote. I also love all the tips Melissa shares after each recipe: I challenge you to read this book and not want to get cooking.

Since I basically want to make every recipe in the book, I had a hard time deciding which one I wanted to feature here on my blog. Even though I just posted a potato recipe last week, I ended up going with this sweet potato dish because I had just brought some sweet potatoes home from the market, plus I’ve never used whole cinnamon sticks like this before.

These sweet potatoes cook up to be fantastically fragrant. Each bite is crisp and wonderfully salty on the outside, with a meltingly soft interior. They’re perfect as a side dish any day of the week, but they’re pretty and delicious enough to grace your Thanksgiving table, too. Melissa likes to make this with garnet yams, and suggests drizzling the potatoes with honey half way through if you like the idea of a sticky glaze on top.

Recipe for Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Garlic

Yield: serves 4

Melissa says: "Make sure everyone squeezes the rich, caramelized garlic paste out of the skins to eat with the potatoes. It makes the dish."

Ingredients:

*1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, preferably garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
*6 unpeeled garlic cloves
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*2 thyme branches
*1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
*1 tablespoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put all ingredients in a baking pan and toss to combine., then spread out in an even layer,

2. Roast until potatoes are tender and browned, 25-45 minutes. Serve hot or warm, along with the garlic cloves.

Reprinted with permission from Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make. Recipes by Melissa Clark; photographs by Andrew Scrivani. Copyright © 2011; published by Hyperion.

More Recipes You’ll Love From (or Inspired by) Cook This Now:
Stir Fried Chicken with Scallions and Oyster Mushrooms from Sassy Radish
Melissa’s Spicy Sopressata Pasta from Justcook NYC
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Caraway from Gluten Free Girl
SproutKraut from The Peche
Butternut Squash Risotto with Pistachios and Lemon from Canelle et Vanille

 

38 Comments

  1. 1

    Amy (savorymoments) — November 2, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    I love garnet yams (when I can find them). I am really liking new ideas for healthy side dishes lately and this one looks great!

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:09 am

      Thanks Amy! Yes as you can see I didn’t use the garnets, but I am going to make this with those very soon. I am also going to make it again with squash.

  2. 2

    Bev Weidner — November 2, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    O.
    M.
    G.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:09 am

      Ha! Thanks Bev.

  3. 3

    Kelsey — November 2, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

    I love when cookbooks or organized by season. I think the disconnect in this country about where our food comes from and when it grows is just so tragic. Books like these are great educational tools for people who have little concept that food actually does grow seasonally. These look fantastic! Putting this on my list (and the book!). :)

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

      Yes what I also love about the book is the detailed accounts of Melissa’s trips to her neighborhood Farmer’s Market- winter, spring, summer, and fall. Without her marketing it as an organic, local foods cookbook, it still is one…

  4. 4

    Nutmeg Nanny — November 2, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    This is such a pretty dish. This is going to sound horribly cheesy but I cannot wait for the day where I get to host Thanksgiving. This is exactly the type of food I would make. Hearty, delicious and seasonal.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

      Does not sounds cheesy at all! I know exactly what you mean ;)

  5. 5

    Cookin' Canuck — November 2, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

    This is the second time I’ve read a rave review about this book and now I know it’s going to make its way into my kitchen. This is such a pretty dish and I can only imagine how good it tastes.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:17 am

      You’ll love the book Dara!

  6. 6

    Laura — November 2, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

    Those sweet potatoes are stunning! I have never seen them before. I love roasted root vegetables, the flavors really concentrate so well.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:32 am

      Yes, they really do, don’t they?!

  7. 7

    Natalie — November 2, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Melissa Clark and am so glad you shared this recipe. I’ve never combined cinnamon + garlic but with these sweet potatoes that sounds like a great mix of flavors!

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:32 am

      I know it sounds strange at first, but it really works.

  8. 8

    Katherine Martinelli — November 3, 2011 @ 2:40 am

    I am definitely a huge Melissa Clark fan and have been wanting her book for some time. You’ve definitely cinched the deal! These potatoes look just stunning. I love the simplicity of the recipe matched with the compelling flavor combination. Lovely.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      Thanks Katherine!

  9. 9

    Kathryn — November 3, 2011 @ 5:32 am

    Melissa’s book sounds just wonderful and these potatoes are a wonderful recipe to share. Delicious!

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      It’s really a great book :)

  10. 10

    Alissa — November 3, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Roasted garlic is absolutely heavenly! Cinnamon and sweet potato are just beautiful together too :)

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:04 am

      I’m going to make this again with squash very soon…

  11. 11

    Pure2raw twins — November 3, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    these look great! love using cinnamon in savory dishes

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:01 am

      Me, too!

  12. 12

    Oui, Chef — November 3, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    I’m a huge fan of Melissa Clark (and of you!), can’t wait to make this dish.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 10:01 am

      Aw, thanks Steve!

  13. 13

    Paula — November 3, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    The combination of the roasted garlic with the cinnamon conjures up nothing but wonderful aromas for me. Melissa’s book sounds great and a super that she had to categorize her recipes by the seasons.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 9:22 am

      I’ve made a few of the other recipes too…so far they’ve all been winners!

  14. 14

    France @ Beyond The Peel — November 3, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    What an interesting mix. Reading the recipe you can almost imagine the house filling up with the aromas of garlic thyme and cinnamon. If this is how simple and beautiful all her recipes are, the book is a definite winner.

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 9:13 am

      Yup. And with the cinnamon, this is a really great dish!

  15. 15

    merry jennifer — November 4, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    So, you know what this means, right? Another cookbook I MUST have. Off to shop…

    • Winnie replied: — November 4th, 2011 @ 9:11 am

      Hehe have fun shopping…you’ll love the book, I promise.

  16. 16

    Sabrina — November 4, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    These look gorgeous! I have never thought to put together cinnamon with roasted potatoes! I cannot wait to try this!!! I am in love with your blog!!! your photos are beautiful!

  17. 17

    Sophie — November 4, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

    What a lovely & tasty roasted dish & I especially love the added cinnamon in here, Winnie!

    What a great idea!! Yummie! ;)

  18. 18

    Georgia Pellegrini — November 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    What a beautiful dish. I go crazy for popping the garlic paste out of its shell :) I hope they sent you a copy of my upcoming book! If not and you’d like one let me know… xo

  19. 19

    Debbie @ Easy Natural Food — November 4, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    Hi Winnie, this looks super tasty! I think I’ll add this to my Thanksgiving menu :) You have a wonderful blog with some great recipes, I’ll be stopping by again!

  20. 20

    Jeanette — November 4, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    I haven’t seen this new book yet by Melissa Clark but I am going to see if our library has it. The flavor combination of thyme, cinnamon and garlic sounds so intriguing.

  21. 21

    Monet — November 5, 2011 @ 10:17 am

    Wow…these look stunning, and they sound even better. I love the thought of using cinnamon with potatoes. Brilliant. Thanks again for sharing with me. You know how to make me smile. I hope you have a blessed weekend!

  22. 22

    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits — November 25, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    I’ve never heard of Melissa Clark, but I’ll try to find more about her recipes. This one sounds very good. I love sweet potatoes with cinnamon.

  23. 23

    healthy easy recipes — November 22, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    This tasted wonderful. The honey glaze was perfect for my little nephews who will eat anything sweet. Although they did request me to peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes next time. For some reason they don’t like it.