Melissa Clark has had plenty of experience writing about food; she’s a food columnist for the New York Times, a contributor to magazines such as Bon Appétit, and has written over 30 cookbooks. To be honest, her expertise intimidated me—I thought the recipes in her latest cookbook, Cook This Now, might be difficult to make or full of hard-to-find ingredients. Instead I found a thoughtfully arranged cookbook with recipes that incorporated simple, accessible ingredients and clear instructions. Each recipe includes a short addendum called “What Else?” that provides hints for making the recipe turn out just right and also tips for substitutions or variations. There’s no going wrong with Clark’s help! My favorite recipe is for cumin-roasted cauliflower served with yogurt and pomegranate (you can find this recipe on my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen); it may sound a bit fussy, but in reality it’s simple to make and so delicious! I liked this cookbook enough to put it on my "Best of 2011" list.
Cook This Now