My mother died two years ago. She was 96. The mind went a bit fuzzy but until very near the end, the body was strong. My brother reminisced that when she set out to cook dinner, the first thing she did was peel an onion and a few cloves of garlic. (Who ever does just one clove of garlic?) It's hard to imagine any of the dishes we ate without garlic and onion.
She was a particular whizz with vegetables. We liked potatoes of course but they were not automatically part of every meal. There were other ways to have a starch or something to soak up the sauces.
For a long time Australia killed vegetables by boiling (and more boiling). When the backlash came in the '80s, keen cooks served hot raw vegetables with crunch (which some people pretended to like). No, that's for salad.
Look to Turkey for great vegetable dishes. Rick Stein noted on his food tour of the Mediterranean that he hadn't set out to do a set of vegetarian T.V. programmes but that was what had been most delicious.
So as a family, we got used to lots of delicious vegetables. My mother's peas are a standout and I'll share with you that there's no 5 minute boiling here. They simmer for 3/4 hour with spring onions, lettuce and optional bacon pieces. Heavenly.
Tomatoes stuffed with parsley, garlic & breadcrumbs
(And I think they are classically called Tomates Provençales).
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3-6 garlic cloves depending on taste and size
1/3 cup coarse breadcrumbs (home-made or Panko)
The plate is a small oval platter, part of a 48 piece service for 12, - Sarguemines Royat, Faïence c.1910