Vichy water, the product of a famous spa in eastern France, initially won fame for its curative powers and continues its popularity across the world as an ingredient in mixed drinks. It is often available in local supermarkets.
Many recipes for Vichy carrots recommend stove top preparation but carrots roasted in the oven seem to take on a special mellow sweetness.
Also included here is a variation using ginger ale and fresh ginger that is a familiar accompaniment at holiday meals.
Makes 4 servings
Cooking time: 45 minutes
4 medium to large carrots, about 1 ¼ pounds, peeled
1 bottle Vichy water, regular water plus ½ tsp lemon juice is a good substitute
3 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp parsley, use a generous garnish; this adds flavor
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees
2. Slice carrots into 1/8 inch rounds, the thin slices are easiest when you use a very sharp vegetable slicer or knife.
3. Spread carrot slices in a roasting pan in 1 layer, ¾ inch thick.
4. Pour over carrots just enough hot Vichy water to come up 1/3 the side of the pan.
5. Dot carrots with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Loosely cover roasting pan, first with parchment paper, then with aluminum foil.
7. Bake until carrots are slightly soft, about 20 minutes.
8. Remove carrots from pan to warm serving platter.
9. Reduce liquid in pan to no more than 2 Tbsp.
10. Pour syrup over carrots, sprinkle on black pepper and parsley and serve immediately.
Substitute well-flavored purchased ginger ale (like Schweppes) and a quarter-sized piece of crushed fresh ginger. Substitute candied ginger for parsley and serve.
Vichy carrots might have no claim to cure either hangovers or night-blindness but the sharp mineral flavor of the water and natural sweetness of the carrots are interesting and colorful accents to meals that highlight heavy, rich main dishes.