Finnish Carrot Casserole ♥

Finnish Carrot Casserole
Today's Finnish recipe: An old-fashioned carrot casserole from Finland, grated carrots and rice in a light custard.

~recipe & photo updated 2010~

2007: During the year I made a home in Finland, I found much to love. But the food -- the food! was a definite highlight. I have a notebook of recipes - too bad, many written in Finnish 'to help retain the language', ha! though food words mostly remain familiar. And I often turn to the classic Finnish cookbook, The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas. I remember carrot and rice casserole -- 'porkkanalaatikko' in Finnish, since you asked -- as a specialty on Christmas Eve. By today's standards, it's plain fare. But its very simplicity lets the carrots shine and the rice melt into the light custard. It hit just the right note with slices of ham on a cool fall evening and the next day, warmed up, tasted even better.

2010: I 'updated' the recipe just a bit, by using the more healthful brown rice and omitting the bread-crumb topping. I actually like this served cold, too, in fact for a party supper, might cut it into squares or triangles, sprinkled with fresh dill, then serve as a 'salad' or side dish. In fact, I'll mention that a little fresh dill moves this casserole from good plain fare to something quite delicious.

FINNISH CARROT CASSEROLE

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup cooked rice (white rice or brown rice like Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
1 pound carrots, grated with a hand grater or a food processor

TOPPING (optional)
1 slice whole grain bread, made into crumbs by whizzing in small food processor a few times
1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)

Preheat oven to 375F. Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the brown sugar, salt and then a few tablespoons at a time, the milk. Stir in the rice and carrots. Transfer to a baking dish. Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Don't cover - you want the topping to brown and crust up a bit. Bake for about 40 minutes for a shallow baking dish and another 30 - 40 if a deep baking dish.


KITCHEN NOTES
2007: The specified baking time was 40 minutes, mine took double that to get hot clear through. Since I cooked this in a deep Corning casserole dish, next time I'll use something shallow like a quiche dish. 2010: A shallow quiche dish worked like a charm, this finished in exactly 40 minutes.
2010: I was short on milk so substituted 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, creating a nice change in texture.
2010: I served the leftovers, cold, sprinkled with fresh dill and it was so good, so very good, that now I want to remake this again and experiment with how/when to add fresh dill. My instinct says to sprinkle it over the hot casserole, rather than to mix in. This solves the 'blank top' issue too, since I'd rather skip the fuss and calories of a bread crumb topping.

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MORE FINNISH RECIPES
~ Spinach Pancake ~
~ Creamed Radishes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Karelian Borscht
~ Caraway Cabbage ~
~ Lenten Grass ~
~ more Finnish recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade




TOURING FINLAND with FOOD BLOGS & OTHER BLOGS
For more Finnish recipes, check out these favorite blogs:

Nami Nami - Pille lives in Estonia, just across the Gulf of Finland. Because Estonia and Finland are so close geographically and linguistically, there is much back and forth between the two countries, especially since the Soviet Union broke up.

Cloudberry Quark - Mostly posts in English (don't be turned off by the posts currently on her home page) with beautiful photography

Daydream Delicious ~ Bonnie was also a Rotary exchange student in Finland and occasionally blogs about Finnish recipes, like rieska, a savory bread and täytekakku, a fruity cream cake that I remember well.

A Wee Bit of Cooking ~ Wendy also lived in Finland for a few years and occasionally posts Finnish recipes, like this omenakakku, that would be apple cake

Axis of Aevil ~ An American married to a Finn and another mom who gave up blog for baby, but the archives of Finnish pastries and classical dishes -- amazing

Life of Jalo ~ Not a food site, but I visit these four very happy dogs who live in the east of Finland every day, just to smile. Wonderful dog photography, many glimpses of the Finnish countryside

Taivasalla ~ Not a food site, gorgeous photographs mostly in and around Helsinki

Are there other Finnish food blogs? I'd love to know!






Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2007

14 comments:

I very much like the simple of this and am going to keep this in mind for a veggie dish for my vegan son at Thanksgiving.

It looks delicious, Alanna. You grated all those carrots by hand??! Quite a workout :)
P.S. the spinach pancakes sound delicious...but I think the link might need to be fixed.

This is one casserole that I know we'll Finnish (hee hee)

Thanks for the mention, Alanna:) Yes, there are quite a lot of similarities in Estonian and Finnish cuisine, and I'm glad that you've found something reminiscent of your Finnish year on my blog:)
I love Pastanjauhantaa blog, but it's in Finnish only:( And I'm sad that Taikinapoika isn't blogging again - too busy getting married, I guess:)

I used to love this! Will have to make it again soon.
Thanks for the mention!

I have family in Finland, they own several restaurants in the biggest mall in Finland. I hear that the food in Estonia isn’t bad either. They do share some similarities since Estonia’s independence from Russia. I just saw a website about Estonia’s Singing Revolution – http://singingrevolution.com; this is quite inspirational.

I love carrots - they're one of my favorite veggies - but I've never tried to make them star in a casserole. What a great recipe!

Holy Toledo! Don't know about that name, but I'm making this tonight to serve with my beer-braised pork roast. Thanks Alanna!

Most of the Finnish food blogs feature recipes for mexican or thai food, not local foods. :)

And I haven't given up the blog for the baby, I'm just still trying to catch some sleep as she doesn't nap and only recently started sleeping (mostly) through the night. I'll be back soon, I hope. :) Thanks for the high praise, too!

Just a small note, that Ojakangas cookbook is really farfetched sometimes, so if it sounds weird, it's probably wrong! We use that cookbook for giggles when we're having a bad day :D

Forgot to say: lovely blog! It's quickly become one of my favs.

Makes 4 cups, 2 pts a serving .. nice, but how many servings?

Good question, thanks for the detailed reading -- it's a half cup serving.

I adore this recipe, but I thought you might like to know a change
I've made in it. Instead of brown sugar, I use a small amount of
grated candied ginger and a few raisins.

What's probably a more
major thing, all the rice in the house was brown jasmine, so I used
that. I also used almond meal on top, instead of bread crumbs. I never have bread in the house anymore, so all gratiny things have to be either parmesan or almond meal nowadays.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna