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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Jewels

Roasted garnet yams just scream autumn.
One of the things I love best about the fall is the arrival of garnet yams.  Not only are they absolutely delicious, as an added bonus they're good for you.  It's not often that something so good for you tastes so decadent.

I have to admit that for years the only time I ever ate yams was at Thanksgiving.  And, given how sticky and sweet the Thanksgiving preparation was, honestly it wouldn't have mattered if it was a yam lurking under the marshmallows or a russet potato.  The yams were mostly the vehicle for all the sweet, sticky toppings.

But if left to shine on their own, shine they will.  Like little jewels.  Garnet yams are absolutely delicious roasted with just the simplest preparations.  Melissa Clark's recipe for Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Garlic really showcases all that is truly special about a yam.
Ready for the oven.
Now don't get me wrong.  I suppose if I were a better, more disciplined person, I would serve a simple preparation like this one for Thanksgiving but I'm not.  There's a time and a place for marshmallows and brown sugar.  But there is also a time to let the yam shine on its own.

Recipe:  Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Garlic
(Melissa Clark, Cook this Now, 2011)


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 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


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

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

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