I wish I could say that I’m some kind of culinary innovator and totally invented this concept, but I’m probably wrong.  Nevertheless, I’m pretty proud of this recipe… as much as I can remember of it, anyway.

This risotto came about because I was feeding someone who is on a pretty restricted diet at the moment – no gluten, vegan, no oils, no sugars – but I figured a hot meal would be more welcome than the endless stream of garden salads.  As it turns out, she was able to have coconut oil, and the idea blossomed from there.

The goods:

coconut oil, a good 2 tablespoons or so

1 package wild mushrooms (or sliced mushrooms of any variety), anywhere from 8 oz to 1 pound, depending on how much you like mushrooms

1 cup arborio rice

8 ish cups organic vegetable stock (check the label if you’re gluten-free, they hide gluten everywhere)

curry powder, ground turmeric, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper, to taste

The method:

Get a big skillet nice and hot, and throw in your coconut oil.  Note: organic coconut oil melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so don’t worry if your “oil” is solid.  Just let it melt and get hot.

Toss in your mushrooms and sautee until soft.  This will take a while, and your whole kitchen will smell like cooked coconut.  It’s kind of awesome.

Throw in your rice (you may want to lower the heat just a tad: medium-high should be fine) and cook until the rice is barely translucent.

Start adding your stock, no more than 1 cup at a time.  Stir constantly, and as with all risotto recipes, wait until the liquid is fully absorbed before adding another dose.  You want to keep a good simmer, but lower the heat if you’ve got a crazy boil going on.

After about the 3rd application of stock, sprinkle on some curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and paprika.  You can make this as strong or as subtle as you like, so I’d say just go until it smells awesome.  Use more of the curry powder than the other three, though. You can also taste the broth, but be careful because the rice will still be mostly uncooked and it will not taste or feel good.

Keep going with the stock until the risotto is nice and tender, and creamy and thick.  I didn’t end up using all 8 cups of stock, but depending on how fast your risotto cooks or how hot your pan is, you may end up using more or less.  Give it a final taste test, and adjust your seasonings accordingly.  Now is also the time to finally add your salt and pepper.

I usually stir in a splash of broth again right at the end, because this will thicken up like crazy as it cools.

Plate up, dig in, and enjoy!