By Chef-Owner at Atelier, Marc Lepine
At George Brown, the dish I most enjoyed cooking—and eating—was risotto.
Specifically, risotto alla Genovese. My roommate and I were always making pesto and chicken stock at home so that we could make that dish whenever we wanted. Over my first few years as a chef, it was always on my menu. And I still make it often at home because my wife loves it. I change up the ingredients all the time — but the corn is a constant, because of its great texture and the pops of sweetness it brings to the mix.
– Marc Lepine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 300 mL (1¼ cups) arborio or carnaroli rice
- 125 mL (½ cup) white wine
- 1 L (about 4 cups) white chicken stock, at a simmer
- 125 ml (½ cup) fresh corn kernels (about ½ cob)
- 125 mL (½ cup) top-quality mushrooms, torn or diced
- ²⁄³ red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp pesto
- 2 tbsp grated Grana Padano
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot on medium. Add onions and sweat for one minute (do not colour). Add garlic, and when the aroma becomes intense, add the rice. Stir for about 20 seconds, then add the wine and stir again. When the liquid is reduced by half, add the corn, mushrooms and a small ladle of stock. Stir continuously, adding another ladle of stock whenever the previous addition is absorbed and nearly vaporated. Repeat. After about 12 minutes, add the bell pepper. A few minutes later, begin checking the texture of the rice. When the rice is cooked but still al dente, and the mixture appears creamy but not soupy,
remove pot from the heat. Stir in butter, pesto and cheese. Salt to taste and serve at once.