mushroom cauliflower risotto with lemon and basil {paleo Thanksgiving side dish}

so apparently i enjoy some cauliflower risotto.  because i’ve already shared this one.  but when you find a good thing you like… you can make it/order it/enjoy it over and over, or you can, like me, find a way to mix it up!



seriously, though… this “lightened up” version of risotto tastes anything but “light.”  it’s full of deep, buttery flavors brightened up with basil and lemon, and topped with crunchy pine nuts and crispy near-burnt mushrooms.




i think it’s the vision of many food-lovers who are on a restricted diet, to come up with dishes to share with friends and family that don’t feel like they’re “restricted.”  i’m pretty sure that whomever tries this dish will feel like they’re luxuriating in a seriously splurge-worthy dish.  and that’s the goal!




mushroom cauliflower risotto with lemon and basil {primal Thanksgiving side}
a rice-free risotto made with cauliflower, pine nuts, and basil with lemon.
Recipe type: vegetable side
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2-3 "heads" cremini mushrooms
  • 2 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 head of garlic cloves, separated and peeled
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil (reserve several leaves for garnish)
  • ¼ - ½ cup olive oil, plus additional for roasting
  • ½ cup all-natural chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse cauliflower and cut into florets.
  3. Slice half of one lemon and save remaining half.
  4. On a roasting pan lined with parchment and drizzled with olive oil, place cauliflower, mushrooms, shallots, sliced lemon, garlic, and rosemary.
  5. Drizzle with additional oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
  6. Place pan into preheated oven and roast approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, blend basil, juice and zest from one lemon, and drizzle in ¼ - ½ cup olive oil, adding just enough to reach a thin puree.
  8. Season to taste with salt, and set aside.
  9. When vegetables are golden and beginning to char, remove from oven.
  10. Set aside 2-3 tablespoons mushrooms and the lemon slices.
  11. In batches (about three small batches), process vegetables in a food processor or high-speed blender until they just resemble "rice" sized pieces.
  12. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil.
  13. Reduce heat to simmer and add vegetables.
  14. Stir until warmed through, adding tablespoon butter and zest and juice from remaining lemon half.
  15. To serve: drizzle with basil puree and sprinkle with pine nuts.
  16. Top with a sprinkle of reserved mushrooms and garnish with roasted, sliced lemon.




make it.  eat it.  then tell me what you think!

this recipe from mark’s daily apple inspired me to take a peek at what kind of mushrooms to incorporate in to this recipe.  i’d actually never cooked with cremini before and they looked fun.  they are delicious!

what’s your favorite holiday side dish?


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