Carrot-ginger-coconut risotto with carrot-top pesto

Friends, I was positively desperate for some creative time in the kitchen last night and am glad I put my foot down to putter and cook.

I'd gone to the market earlier and picked up a gorgeous bunch of fresh carrots with an excess of feathery green tops as well as a can of coconut milk for no good reason except that it was on sale. When I got home, I came across the lone ghost pepper I'd bought last week.

Jack is fascinated by ghost peppers' second-place ranking on the Scoville heat index. You don't often see ghost peppers around here, so when I saw it, I snapped it up for fun. He circled it warily for a few days before deciding exploration, much less a straight taste, wasn't worth it. 

As I made dinner for the boys and then started on our squash-based side dish, I noodled on the carrots and coconut milk and it being Monday which I like to try and make meatless. 


I washed and spun the carrot tops as well as the greens from a bunch of radishes I'd bought for Oliver.


And then it all coalesced into a coconut-carrot-ginger risotto with a bit of heat from the ghost pepper and a cool, colorful bit of zip from a fresh carrot top pesto. 

I was thrilled. This dish is hearty but not weighty, comforting but still sunny. I loved enjoying the small bowl of leftovers today for lunch.