Start This Recipe about an hour before you want to eat it

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Accessibility of ingredients, ease of preparation, and affordability

Every year each of the kiddos gets to choose something they’d like to grow in the vegetable patch. This year, the Pickle said he wanted to grow carrots. This by the way was baffling, because when I give him carrots with his lunch, he eats them reluctantly and only after much coercion. But who can really rationalize the mind of a three-year-old? So we planted carrots. I found a really fun seed mixture with all different colors–white, yellow, orange, purple, and red–which has just been delightful all around. They’re fun and tasty and pretty and have done really well in our garden.

Our carrots are just getting past the baby carrot phase and into the bona fide chop-able carrot phase, so I was searching for some easy carrot dishes to use them in. This one was just about perfect. A couple of folks at the dinner table surprised me and said they were “too sweet”, but still tasty. So everyone gave it the thumbs up. Next time we’ll reduce the honey by half and see how that goes. It also easily earned all three stars for accessibility of ingredients, ease of preparation, and affordability.

I was curious about the origins of Carrots Vichy so did a little digging on Google. As it turns out, Carrots Vichy originates in France, in a town called (duh) Vichy. Vichy is the site of an ancient mineral spring and so Vichy water is a much-sought-after tonic. You know all those Tolstoy novels where the Russian aristocracy leave town to “take the waters”? They went to places like Vichy.

So in order to have truly authentic Carrots à la Vichy, you are supposed to cook the carrots in Vichy water. Unfortunately, we don’t have French water in the Rocky Mountains. So I guess that means that what I made is actually Carrots à la Tap Water. Oh well. It was still tasty.

Carrots Vichy (Nourishing Traditions, page 378)

  • 1 pound carrots
  • water
  • 4 tablespoons good quality butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • sea salt

1. Peel and slice your carrots.

Sally says in her notes that you can feel free to peel your carrots without fear of losing valuable nutrients. However, I just tend to choose to not peel my carrots, as long as they’re organic and don’t have hairy roots all over from sitting in the fridge too long. If you want you carrots to be more Vichy-fied then you can slice them on the bias.

2. Cover with filtered water and bring to a boil. Add butter and honey. Boil uncovered, skimming frequently, until liquid is reduced to almost nothing and carrots are well coated. You may want to add a tablespoon or two more of butter at the end. Season with sea salt to taste.

Again, Sally doesn’t give much idea of how long it’s going to take your carrots to boil down. The lack of this bit of information has caused dinner to be late more than once when cooking from Nourishing Traditions. So I’ll tell you, it took my carrots about 15 minutes to reach the “well coated” stage. Yours may be a little more or a little less, depending on your stove/altitude/etc. but at least you have an estimate now!

I read a few recipes online that were trying to be more Vichy-like and used mineral water instead of tap water. I’m really curious about this method. Does it affect the flavor? The nutrient availability? Does it cook better or faster? Does anyone know? I’m going to have to try it with some Pellegreno next time. I’ll let you know in the comments how it comes out!

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