Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Roasted Beets With Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Don’t let the short ingredient list fool you – this easy recipe packs a ton of flavor. This is a wonderful way to prepare beets when the weather is warm; light and refreshing, this dish would be the perfect start to a simple summertime meal. I use red beets here, but feel free to substitute any that you find – golden or chioggia beets would be delicious as well.

3 medium red beets with greens still attached
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
7 oz Greek yogurt
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 1/2 T tahini
1/4 C fresh chopped parsley
2 T slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the beet greens and set aside. Wash the beets thoroughly and place on a double layer of aluminum foil. Coat with half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap the beets tightly and place in your wood oven to roast, rotating every so often. Cook the beets until they are tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the stems from the beet greens and discard. Wash the greens thoroughly and then give them a rough chop. Heat a large saute pan at the mouth of your oven so that it doesn’t get too hot. Add the remaining olive oil and the greens, season with salt and pepper, and slowly wilt until tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

To make the sauce, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, tahini and chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Finally, use a small saute pan to toast the almonds in your wood oven until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

When the beets are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can safely handle them. Using a kitchen towel (which will be pink forevermore) or paper towels, rub the skin off the beets. Slice the beets into wedges.

To plate, place a dollop of the yogurt mixture on your serving vessel. Mound the greens to one side, then top with the sliced beets. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Delicious recipe!

Thank you for this recipe. We made it last night — though with a 4 pound free-range chicken. Yum!

Because the night was getting dark (didn’t start the fire in the oven soon enough), that necessitated a couple of changes that might be helpful to note.
1. After the oven cleared, pushed the still very hot coals to the oven perimeter, but turned the pot often to ensure even cooking. At the start, the floor was almost 800 degrees F.
2. Used a terracotta casserole w/ a metal pan underneath to help shield the bottom from the heat. That worked fine.
2. Probably didn’t brown the chicken enough before covering w/ foil, so after the bird was done, removed the foil and re-browned the chicken. The result was nice crispy skin over the tasty moist chicken.
3. Didn’t have dessert wine, so used a nice Alsatian Riesling. The sauce was still very, very tasty.
4. Strained the sauce and skimmed the fat as directed, but put the veggies back in. Since we had rice, it was nice to have a more substantial sauce.

Highly recommend this recipe!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Roasted Asparagus With Romesco Sauce


This is the last time I’ll say it: Hurray for spring! Without a doubt, asparagus is one of the finest gifts spring has to offer, made all the more sweet by the relatively short time we have with it each year. I know, I know, your supermarket has asparagus all the time. Do me a favor – don’t eat it when it’s not springtime. Asparagus is just one of those things, like tomatoes, or watermelon, or scarves, that are meant to be enjoyed only at certain times of the year. (And yes, there are tomatoes in this recipe – but we are roasting them to extract some flavor. And if the tomatoes you find look terrible, by all means, substitute canned.)

Romesco is a Spanish sauce that tastes great on just about anything, which is good, because you’ll probably have some left over from this recipe. Dip raw vegetables in it, put it on fish, or just spread it on some toasted bread. Trust me, it won’t go to waste.

2 lbs asparagus
2 red bell peppers
3 roma tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 onion, quartered
4 oz raw whole almonds
1 dried ancho chili
2 T sherry vinegar
3/4 C plus 2 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion into a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and place in a medium-hot wood oven to roast. Allow to cook, turning the peppers occasionally, until everything is very soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The tomatoes and onions should be beginning to char around the edges and the skin of the peppers should be blackened all over. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, trim off the ends of the asparagus. If you are dealing with thick asparagus, you may want to peel the bottom third of each spear to remove the woody outer skin. Anything pencil-thickness or skinnier should be fine without peeling.

Place the almonds in a single layer in a saute pan and toast in your wood oven until fragrant, about 5-8 minutes depending on your oven temperature. Right before you’re ready to take the almonds out, add the ancho chili to the pan and allow it to toast for about 1 minute. It should darken in color slightly and puff up like a balloon. Remove the chili and almonds from oven.

When the bell peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Peel the paper off the outside of the garlic cloves. Remove the stem and seeds from the ancho. Place the peppers, garlic and ancho in the carafe of a blender, along with the tomatoes, onion, almonds and sherry vinegar. Blend until incorporated, then, with the motor running, drizzle in the 3/4 cup of olive oil. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

To roast the asparagus, toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a large roasting pan big enough to hold the spears in a single layer. Place in a hot wood oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus has begun to caramelize and is just cooked but still has a slight crunch when you bite into it, about 4-7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with the romesco. Give me a plate of this and a glass of albariño and I’m good to go, but if you’re looking for a complete meal, add a nice piece of roasted fish and some rice and you should be all set.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

all of everything!!!!!!!!!!

i can’t believe how delicious all of your dishes sound and look!!! i love root veggies and will try the ones i can’t resist. i am alone so might have to use my “noggin” to pare them down to my size or else invite a guest. also i live in an assisted lioving community and will be forced to use a conventional oven.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Roasted Mushrooms With Green Garlic


Here’s another recipe to celebrate a couple of spring’s here-now-gone-tomorrow offerings. If there’s one thing to complain about spring’s bounty, it’s that nothing sticks around for very long. Oh well – enjoy it while it lasts. This recipe will make it even easier, because it will take you about 2 seconds to make – three ingredients, and that’s it. If you can find them, use morel mushrooms, spring’s fungal grand prize. I used shitakes here because I couldn’t find them (shakes fist at capricious Lady Spring), and it was still pretty darn good.

In my experience, green garlic is a farmers market-only item, but if you have a really good local green grocer, you may be able to find it there. Green garlic looks similar to green onions, except that its green part is flat instead of tubular.

5 stalks green garlic
12 oz fresh morels or shitakes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Remove the root end from the green garlic. Peel off the outer layer of each stalk and discard. Cut on a bias into thin ovals. Place in a bowl of cool water and swish vigorously to dislodge any dirt stuck in the layers. Allow the to settle for one minute, then use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the green garlic. Allow to drain on a kitchen towel.

Meanwhile, clean your mushrooms. If you got your hands on morels, split them in half lengthwise. Depending on how dirty they are, you may need to wash them in several changes of fresh water to remove all the grit. If you notice any worms or bugs, add a single drop of dish soap to the first change of water. This should dislodge any unwanted stowaways. (Morels are a wild-foraged product – there’s no way around creepy-crawlies every once in a while!) For shitakes, all you need to do is remove the woody stems. If any of the caps has a dirty spot, just wipe it off with a damp cloth. Toss the mushrooms with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Next, preheat a large roasting pan in a very hot wood oven. When it’s ready to go, add the mushrooms in a single layer and allow to roast undisturbed for at least 2 minutes. You want to develop delicious crispy caramelization, and stirring the mushrooms too soon is going to make them start to leach out their juices and steam instead. Stir once and allow to roast for another 2-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are nicely browned. Stir in the green garlic and allow to cook for one minute more, until the garlic has softened and started to frizzle around the edges.

Remove from the oven and adjust seasoning as necessary. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy immediately. This would serve as a great accompaniment to an oven-roasted steak, or try throwing some inside a savory crepe with some cream sauce over the top.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Yummm – cherries

I have to try this recipe. It looks tasty and not fussy. Besides, I love cherries! I also like the fact that you can make it immediatley after cooking a casserole in the oven.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

good topping

This is a great idea to finish the pizza night. You may like to serve it with strained Greek yoghurt and icing sugar.
Mix 1tablespoon of icing sugar into a 250g pot of yoghurt – goes great with strawberries and no as naughty as cream!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Roasted Artichokes With Capers, Chevre and Herbed Breadcrumbs

Ah, spring. Yes, it’s getting warmer. Yes, the days are getting longer. But what I really get excited about is all the amazing produce spring brings with it. Finally gorging on asparagus, peas, morel mushrooms, green garlic, ramps, spring onions, rhubarb and more after a long winter of root vegetables here in the Midwest is a joy that never grows old.

This recipe is an ode to another springtime favorite, the artichoke. Supermarket produce sections have tricked us into thinking of artichokes as a year-round vegetable, but their peak is really in the spring. You won’t beat the flavor of a spring-harvested artichoke, and chances are they’ll be cheaper than at other times of the year, because production is at its highest.

4 globe artichokes, or 10-12 baby artichokes
Juice of 3 lemons
4 T dry breadcrumbs
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 T vegetable oil
2 T capers
3 oz fresh chevre (goat cheese)

First comes the hard part – cleaning the artichokes. If you’ve never done it before, here’s a quick primer: First cut the lemons in half and squeeze 2 1/2 of them into a large bowl of cool water. Just throw the lemon halves in there too. (Save the last half for later.) Cut artichokes oxidize quickly, so you need the acidulated water to keep them from turning an ugly gray-brown. Next, start peeling leaves off the artichoke until you get down to the tender yellow inside leaves. Use a serrated knife to cut off the top of the artichoke right where the leaves turn from green to yellow. Next, use a peeler or paring knife to remove the fibrous outer layer from the stem and base of the artichoke. Keep peeling until you’re down to the tender, green-yellow flesh. Cut the artichoke in half through the stem. If you’re using large artichokes, you will need to remove the choke, the fuzzy, sharp blossom-to-be at the center of each artichoke. Use a spoon or a small knife to dig out the hairy stuff and any pointy leaves in each half. Baby artichokes may not have developed any choke yet, and should be completely edible once peeled. Cut each half into slices, or quarter baby artichokes, and hold in the lemon water until you’re ready to cook.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may need more or less oil depending on exactly the type of breadcrumbs you’re using. When combined, the mixture should look like wet sand. Place in a small skillet and toast the breadcrumbs in your wood oven, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove and allow to cool, then stir in the parsley and thyme. Set aside.

Preheat a large saute pan in your wood oven. You want a pretty hot oven for this preparation. Drain the artichokes, add the vegetable oil to your pan and then add the artichokes. Season with salt and pepper, then place in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10-12 minutes.

Squeeze the remaining half lemon into the pan. Stir in the capers and then dot with the goat cheese. Return to the oven and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the cheese has started to melt into the artichokes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

This dish would be a great accompaniment to lamb, or as part of an antipasti spread. Go get some spring artichokes while you can, and enjoy!


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)