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Vegetables needn’t be bleak health food. Not that there’s anything wrong with plain cooked broccoli (at least glistening with butter, please) or in-season asparagus, or a simple baked potato, or impeccably fresh lettuce. But let’s be honest: a lot of distinctly American cuisine is about amending vegetables with, shall we say, less salubrious companions. For example, broccoli casserole in which cheese is the dominant ingredient along with rice and crumbled Ritz crackers on top, the broccoli playing a supporting role. Or asparagus flash-fried in gauzy tempura batter. Or a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream and bacon and cheese. Or a wedge salad in which iceberg lettuce exists as background crunch for bacon, blue cheese, tomatoes, and croutons.