Last month, while meandering through the SRC recipes, I realized that far too many of them were dessert. It’s not surprising we bloggers chose to make desserts in the Secret Recipe Challenge (each blogger is given another blog and must make a recipe from that blog).  Cookies, cakes, puddings, and the like tend to photograph well as well as being treats that we enjoy and can easily share with others.  Unlike a chicken curry. I was equally guilty of promoting those sugar-laden less-healthy recipes, too. Last month, I vowed to do a better job of making and promoting the healthier recipes.  We would go back to vegetables!

 Guess what? I’m still doing dessert. My assigned blogger was Lisa Michele, who has a beautiful blog primarily about baking and desserts (but not entirely). Her pumpkin post was enchanting, and I will be venturing back for the soup once I crack open the squash on top of my fridge. What dessert couldn’t I resist? Risotto, with fruit.

Lisa Michele made a beautiful version layered with a mange gelee, but I decided to imbue the dish with autumn in New England. First, I used the last of the local prune plums for the fruit but I also substituted maple syrup for the sugar and hard cider for wine. The maple flavor is a little dominant, so decrease that if you want the fruit to stand out more or use a milder fruit like apples.

Classically, for risotto, you add hot liquids to the rice gradually, but Lisa’s method had you adding cold milk. Cold liquids worked but took a little longer than I would have predicted. If you’re in a hurry, heat up the water and coconut milk in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave before pouring into the pot.

Coconut Risotto with Roasted Plums and Almonds

serves about six (perhaps four at breakfast)

1 T coconut oil
3/4 c arborio rice
1/2 c hard cider (sweet would likely work well too)
1 1/4 c water
Pinch of cinnamon, ginger, and/or cloves
1 c coconut milk
4 T sugar or maple syrup
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 c almonds, chopped and toasted
1 lb prune plums
1 T limoncello
1 T almond oil (optional)

1.Heat the oil in a heavy, medium saucepan. Add the spices and rice. Stir over moderate heat until coated with the oil.

2. Add the cider and cook, stirring, until it is completely absorbed. Mix the coconut milk and water. Add 1/2 cup of the liquids and cook, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed. Continue adding milk and water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the risotto is creamy and porridgelike and the grains of rice are just tender. (About 35 minutes.)

3. Stir in 1/4 c sugar or maple syrup. Chill until ready to fill bowls or chill and serve as is. Top with the plums, below, and toasted almonds.


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Wash plums and pit. Chop coarsely and toss with the limoncello and almond oil.

3. Lay in a single layer on a greased pan (butter or coconut oil would work). Roast for 20 minutes, turning every 7-8 minutes, until tender.

Linked to: Tasty Tuesday