This exceptional dish by Chef Todd Clarmo of Wildcraft Grill + Long Bar in Waterloo, Ontario further elevates the all-Ontario pairing of Farmstead GOLD Gouda cheese by Mountainoak Cheese, an on-farm cheese company in New Hamburg, Ontario, and Henry of Pelham Pinot Grigio, St. Catharines, Ontario.
The charred leeks in Chef Todd's recipe add depth and a savoury flavour to the dish paired beautifully with the caramel undertones from the Ontario-crafted gouda and the light crisp VQA Ontario white wine.
Pour broth into a saucepan and heat over medium low heat; keep warm.
Cut light green part off of leek and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) rounds. Place in a sieve and wash well to remove any dirt. Pat dry and set aside. Cut remaining white part of leek in half lengthwise and thinly slice. Wash in sieve as well and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add light green leek rounds and sear on one side until deep golden brown. Remove leek rounds with tongs to a paper towel lined plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add sliced leek whites and garlic to saucepan and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until well coated. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring until wine evaporates.
Add about 3 ladlefuls of broth to saucepan with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often until broth is reduced by about half. Add about the same amount of broth another 2 or 3 times, while stirring and waiting for broth to reduce and rice to become creamy, this will take about 15 minutes.
Taste rice and if it is still very firm to the bite, add any remaining broth and continue cooking and stirring until rice is soft with a slight bite (al dente).
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the cheese and butter. Stir until melted. Stir in oregano, hot pepper flakes and remaining salt.
Spoon risotto into serving dishes and top each with remaining cheese and reserved charred leeks. Enjoy immediately.