carrots, turnips, celery, and leeks

     vegetables tend to get relegated to the horizon of the plate, even titled, "side dish". sometimes they are so heavily masked and covered over with fat and starch that they vaguely resemble their original form. having been a vegetarian and semi-vegetarian most of my life, i think vegetables deserve to be treated better than that. sometimes they should even be featured as the star. 
     i use vegetables as the partner to the main protein, combining their vibrancy and texture to balance the dish with a healthy measure of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. one of the best ways to cook vegetables is in a straight-forward simple way– either steamed or heated just until el dente in a little broth. the question that i answer most often when i serve them this way is, "how did you cook the vegetables and what did you put in them"? maybe people have forgotten the genuine flavor of vegetables, or maybe they have never ever tasted their true vegetableness.
     this isn't really a recipe, but it is the way i partner vegetables (use any combination of fresh vegetables) almost every night.
• sweeten an entree with the vibrant color of carrots.
• cook and tame the bossy taste of celery to yield it's softer-green-ness.
• add depth and elegance with aromatic leeks.
• and use tangy, fleshy, turnips for volume.
roughly chop the vegetables and put them in a med.-sized saucepan with about 1 inch of water. cover the pot and gently simmer until the vegetables are el dente. pour off the liquid and save it for broth. season with salt and pepper, and a dusting of a fresh herb if you like. i have been known to use a spoon to eat vegetables cooked this way.

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