Many people have little affection for cooked vegetables, possibly because they are often overcooked. This causes them to lose their inherent crisp texture and natural color and allows vitamins, minerals, and good taste substances to seep out into the cooking water. It is little wonder that many children are unenthusiastic about eating vegetables that have been prepared in such a way as to eliminate their interesting qualities. Some of the crisp texture of vegetables can be preserved by grilling or roasting them. As vegetables have a low protein content, no Maillard reactions take place, but the surfaces do caramelize.

This recipe is an ancient Persian take on the spinach salad from masterful writer Joan Nathan. Spinach is quickly blanched in boiling water, then pulsed in a food processor with cilantro, walnuts and garlic until roughly chopped. Toss with vinegar, salt and pepper and serve at room temperature alongside a chunk of whole grain bread and good butter and you have a delicious spring dinner.

This main looks deceptively meaty on the plate, and it satisfies on the same level. Tandoori spice mixture has an intense spicy flavor that meets its match with rich, unctuous portobello mushrooms. The cool cilantro sauce offers a creamy counterpoint and is entirely sunflower-seed based.

Cauliflower is roasted until nicely browned, then tossed with garlic, pine nuts, capers, a jolt of lemon zest and freshly cooked pasta. Finish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and another layer of lemon and grab a fork

A quick and easy soup from chef Amanda Cohen that pops with flavors of tomato, rosemary and lemon. This soup was included her Cohen's The Key 3 segment on The Splendid Table.

If you are one of the many people who have only tried cooked beets, be prepared to fall in love. The secret to the tastiest raw beets is to cut them very thinly.

This takeoff on a grilled Caesar salad replaces romaine with two colors of chicory lettuce—pale Belgian endive and scarlet radicchio. Both of these leaves are far more bitter than romaine, elevating the contrapuntal between vegetable, dressing, cheese, and salt.