Vichy carrots are so called because they were/are traditionally cooked in the mineral water that springs up in Vichy, a town that lies halfway between Paris and Montpellier. The spas at Vichy became popular in the 18th and 19th Centuries when people would take the waters for medicinal purposes. Carrots, it seems, were also popular, and cooks would combine the local water with the vegetables to ‘aid digestion.’
The recipe given here is a combination of the Larousse instructions and a lot of common sense from Simon Hopkinson.
Carottes à la Vichy
- 2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- Mineral water (from Vichy Saint-Yorre to be utterly correct); if using tap water, add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda)
- A large pinch of salt
- A large pinch of sugar
- 20g butter
- 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Put the carrots in a pan and just cover with mineral water. Mix in the sugar and salt. Add the butter. Bring to a simmer on a gently heat, and then boil quite rapidly so that the carrots are just cooked as the water butter and sugar forms a glaze that coats the carrots with very little left swimming in the pan. Add the parsley to garnish.