Slowly braising whole baby vegetables preserves and enriches their flavours, and reducing the cooking juices in the final stages of cooking creates a delicious dressing that makes an attractive glaze. Using the cooking liquid in this way retains the water-soluble vitamins. These vegetables are perfect with roast poultry, game or meat.
*Use 4 whole baby cauliflowers instead of the carrots and parsnips. Add the baby cauliflowers for the last 8 minutes of cooking. *When baby vegetables are not available, use ordinary vegetables and cut them into chunks or large pieces. *Add the grated zest and juice of 1 orange with the stock. *Stir in snipped fresh chives or chopped parsley just before serving the vegetables.
*Leeks and parsnips both provide useful amounts of folate, which is important for proper blood cell formation and development of the nervous system in an unborn baby. *Carrots are a valuable source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange colour. Unlike most vegetables, which are most nutritious when eaten raw, carrots have more nutritional value when cooked. Because raw carrots have tough cell walls, the body can convert only about 25% of the beta-carotene present into vitamin A. Cooking breaks down the cell membrane in the carrots, making it easier for the body to absorb and convert the beta-carotene.
A, B1, C, E, folate, B6