Carrots and Basil in Purple Splendor
Nothing represents the splendor that Alain Passard had in mind for his carrots better than his own hand-crafted collage. The recipe calls for a few simple, surprising ingredients — like cinnamon — to create a surprising flavor combination with carrots.
Recipe adapted from The Art of Cooking with Vegetables by Alain Passard, published by Frances Lincoln.
- 2 bunches of purple carrots, stems removed and scrubbed*
- 5 leaves of basil
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, or less according to taste
- Fleur de sel or salt of your choice, to taste
Cut the carrots in half lengthways, then cut across into semicircles about a ¼-inch thick. Over low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan; add the carrots and enough cold water to barely cover them. Put a round of greaseproof (waxed) paper on top. Stew the carrots very gently, lifting away the paper occasionally and swirling the pan to turn the carrots and coat them evenly in the buttery juices.
When the water has completely evaporated, leaving the carrots glazed with butter, sprinkle over the soy sauce to taste, and add the cinnamon and the basil leaves. Swirl the pan to mix. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding salt if necessary, then transfer to a warm serving dish. This works equally well as a first course or as an accompaniment for roasted or grilled cuts of beef.