Carrot Top Pesto and Baked Rice Casserole

Submitted by a CSA member who says "When The Box gave us lovely bunches of little carrots with tender tops, we invented a way to enjoy everything. After enjoying bowls of smooth carrot soup with a dollop of carrot top pesto, we used the rest of the pesto for this variation on the beloved "green rice casserole".

servings: 4
prep time: 15 minutes
total time: 1 hour
origin: CSA member!

Carrot Top Pesto
• Carrot tops from 1 bunch FBF small organic carrots (save carrots for soup), washed and roughly chopped
• ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
• 1 clove garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
• 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 3 Tablespoons olive oil

Baked Rice Casserole 
• 1 ½ cups cooked rice (white or brown)
• 1 cup milk
• 1 egg, well beaten
• ½ onion, finely chopped
• ½ cup carrot top pesto (above)
• Some cheese, e.g., 3 oz. goat cheese, diced plus 2 Tablespoons shredded parmesan; or ½ cup shredded Swiss or Fontina


For the pesto: In a food processor, add carrot tops, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. With motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream. Puree until blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Season to taste with more salt and a little ground black pepper. Makes about ¾ cup pesto.

For the Rice Casserole: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 1 ½ qt. baking dish (spray with olive oil or lightly butter). In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake uncovered for 40 minutes, until set and light golden.