Not Salted Water!
With the family 'round for supper last night we decided on a chicken roast with an array of fresh vegetables - broccoli, cabbage, leeks in cheese sauce, potato mash and green beans. Not forgetting the stuffing and gravy. It's strange though how many people believe that cooking green vegetables in salted water adds flavour and keeps their colour vibrant. Where did this 'old wives tale' come from?
Green vegetables like beans or cabbage, don't absorb the water they're cooked in, so any added salt - or, at least, most of it - will be drained away. Nor does salt in the water help 'fix' the chlorophyll that gives the veg its greenness. In fact, it can do the opposite as sea salt can contain elements that harden the water. Green beans can lose their colour as they cook because of acidic water, hard water with a high calcium content or because they have been overcooked. The rule in our house is to always cook green vegetables in plenty of near-boiling unsalted water until they still have some bite to them. As usual, the veg last night were delicious!