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Author Notes: The basic potato-carrot-broccoli combination with olive oil and salt is amazingly satisfying. I learned it from my cousin: it was the only thing she could cook and she and her boyfriend ate it every single day! The simple one-pot method came from being in a friend's poorly equipped kitchen (I love visiting him; I always invent some new jury-rig). You can obviously steam the vegetables properly, and use any mix you like; this is my favorite combination. This dish rides on the quality (read: flavor) of your olive oil and salt, so taste it before you add too many additional flavors (I always have grand plans to add all kinds of herbs, and always end up skipping them). —ody
pounds boiling potatoes (e.g. yukon gold)
heads broccoli (~ 4 cups of bite-sized pieces)
head cauliflower (2 cups; optional)
red bell pepper
cups shelled edamame (I use frozen)
cup high-quality olive oil
tablespoons very coarse sea salt (I highly recommend sel gris from the north coast of France---Trader Joe's sells a poor man's version as "coarse sea salt")
cup chopped parsley
- Scrub the potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and put into a large pot that has a close-fitting lid. (Adjust the pot size or ingredient proportions so that the layer of potatoes is at least 1 inch deep.) Add cold water to just below the top of the potato layer.
- Peel the carrots, wash the broccoli and cauliflower, and cut florets free of the woody stems. Chop carrots and stems into 1/2-inch pieces, layer on top of potatoes. With your hands, break florets into bite-size pieces (cutting with a knife will result in mush) and layer on top of stems.
- Clamp on the lid and put the pot on medium-high heat. After 10 minutes, add the edamame. After about 15 minutes, your vegetables should be steamed: broccoli still bright green but easily pierced with a fork. Working quickly (or the broccoli will go gray), remove from heat, drain any remaining water, and dump steamed vegetables into a big serving bowl.
- Add red pepper, oil, salt, and parsley and toss to mix thoroughly, adding extra salt, oil, and perhaps a dash of black pepper to taste.