Some of Rome's most splendid dishes are the sautéed, braised, boiled, roasted, and otherwise simply prepared vegetables that are served with most meals. Called contorni, these fresh, flavorful dishes round out meat and fish main courses, and they are also often served as antipasti, before meals. In trattorie all over town, waiters serve braised cardoons (a cousin of the artichoke), mixed local greens known as misticanza, and dishes like the ones featured here. Classic contorni are common in home cooks' repertoires as well, though many Romans like to purchase them by weight at tavole calde (literally "hot table" shops). While many contorni are quintessentially Roman, some nod to other regional traditions, serving as tasty reminders of just how much this city acts as a culinary portal for all of Italy.