Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Cold Grilled Eggplant


  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil, slivered
  • Salt
  • Preparation

    Fire the oven until hot. This dish uses high heat to sear the eggplant.

    Cut the eggplant into 1/2’ slices (they have to be the same thickness to cook evenly).

    Salt the eggplant and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well, then brush with olive oil (an actual brush works best).

    Grill the eggplant on a hot grill pan in a hot oven until brown and cooked through.

    Grill the whole pepper, and put it in a brown bag to sweat. When it is cool, remove the skin, core, and slice.

    Place eggplant and peppers in layers on your serving dish. Coat with the mixed oil and vinegars and put in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Top with mozzarella, a little more olive oil, and the basil.


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    Pil-Pil Prawns

    Roast and serve this dish in individual terracotta dishes; it is authentic, and it looks great on the table.


    • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
    • 1 small fresh red chili seeded and chopped
    • About half lb of raw Prawns, peeled
    • Sea salt
    • 2 Tbs of chopped fresh parsley
    • Lemon wedges
    • Bread to serve


    Fire your oven, and make sure it is still hot with a good flame. Heat the olive oil in the individual terracotta dishes.

    Add garlic and chili and cook for 1 to 2 minutes making sure that they do not burn.

    Add the prawns, sprinkle with salt, and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes at a brisk pace.

    Stir in the parsley.

    Serve quickly so that the prawns are still sizzling in the cooking juices.

    Serve with bread and lemon wedges.


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    Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Tapas

    You can prepare the tomato base ahead of time, add it to a dish with a slice of goat cheese in the middle and grill it in your wood oven until the cheese is melted/toasted. Serve on toast points.


    • 6 +/- peeled tomatoes (Roma work nicely), diced
    • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
    • 2 tsp herbs de Provence
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, slivered
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    Sauté the sauce to reduce the liquid and thicken it; about 10 minutes. You can make a lot of sauce ahead of time; it will keep fine in the refrigerator for another tapa.

    Prepare toast points by slicing a baguette and toasting the slices. Butter with garlic butter (ali oli). These are served with the dish after roasting.


    Place a hot layer of the tomato basil mixture in a small low-sided terracotta dish (6’) and place a slice of goat cheese in the middle. The sauce and the cheese should be about 1/2 inch thick.

    Place in your wood oven under a nice flame until the goat cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with some fresh slivered basil.


    Spoon onto the toast points and serve. Disappears quickly!


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    Pan Seared Prawns

    This recipes works well in a hot oven (700ºF) using a live fire and a hot, preheated steel pan.


    • 1 lb of uncooked shrimp (peeled or unpeeled)


    • 1-2 gloves of garlic, minced
    • 2-3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
    • 4 Tbs best olive oil
    • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
    • Salt and Pepper


    Fire your oven, and keep the fire going. This dish cooks at high heat with a live flame.

    Clean and butterfly the shrimp, then marinate for an hour in the garlic, parsley, oil and vinegar.

    A few minutes before you are ready to eat, pre-heat a cast iron grill pan or steel pan in a pizza-hot oven. Get it hot.

    Pull the pan out of the oven, and pour in everything. Grill for 1-3 minutes, until the tops are brown and bubbling.


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    Grilled Eggplant


    One eggplant, sliced into 1/8″ pieces
    2 TBS cooking olive oil
    2 TBS best olive oil
    2 TBS wine vinegar
    2 TBS balsamic vinegar
    1 TBS capers
    Salt and Pepper

    Brush the eggplant with olive oil, and set aside,

    A few minutes before you are ready to eat, pre-heat a cast iron grill pan in a pizza-hot oven. Pull the pan out, and lay the eggplant on the grill pan. Bake in a pizza-hot oven for 2-3 minutes, until the tops are brown and the bottom show nice sear marks.

    Serve hot or cold, topped with the oil, vinegar, capers and herbs.


    Grilled zucchini
    Grilled red, orange and yellow peppers
    Grilled polenta


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    Grilled Mushrooms


    One pound of mushrooms — white, brown or Portobello 
    1-2 gloves of garlic, minced 
    2-3 TBS fresh parsley, chopped 
    3 TBS grated Parmesan
    2 TBS capers
    4 TBS best olive oil
    1 TBS wine vinegar
    1 TBS balsamic vinegar
    Salt and Pepper

    Add 2 TBS of the olive oil to the bottom of the baking pan.

    De-stem the mushrooms, keeping the caps in one piece, and arrange the caps in the baking pan — cap side up.

    Chop the mushroom stems, and mix with the garlic, parsley, Parmesan and capers, then spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. Cover with 2 TBS olive oil, the vinegar, salt and pepper.

    Bake in a pizza-hot oven for 2-3 minutes, until the tops are brown and bubbling.


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    Baked Feta

    This is a great appetizer for your next get-together. the way the flavors blend together and take on a subtle smokiness from the oven will have your guests queueing up for more. it’s also quick and easy, so it’s a great one to have in your back pocket for when those guests are of the unexpected variety.

    1 8 oz chunk feta cheese
    1 1/4 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1/2 c poblano pepper, jullienned
    3/4 c onion, sliced
    5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
    1/2 c kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
    2 c extra virgin olive oil
    1 c picked parsley leaves

    place the cheese in a baking dish. if your feta is fat, cut it in half around the equator to make two thinner disks. combine the tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and olives in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. add to the baking dish with the cheese. pour the olive oil over everything. place in your oven on a rack and bake. i was working in a 425f (air temperature) oven with a piece of wood smoldering and the door half closed. bake for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and the vegetables have softened and started to melt together. remove from the oven and garnish with the parsley leaves. serve with some crusy baguette or ciabatta and you’re ready to go. or, come back next week and i’ll be posting a recipe for the perfect accompaniment – rye naan.

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    Gratinated feta cheese

    Simple tasty appetizer for romantic summernights and also for bigger cooking events.

    Equipment: Wood fired Oven, medium hot (180-200°C), clay baking dish or aluminium foil.

    Ingredients: (2 Persons)

    1 piece feta cheese (sheep), 1 small red onion, 3 Tbs olive oil,

    2 cloves garlic, 2 Tbs sesame seed, chili, feta spice mix or herbes de Provence

    Prepare the dish with a spoon of olive oil. Devide the cheese into two parts and put it in your dish. Cut the onion and the garlic into small slices. Sprinkle the cheese with the herbs, garlic and onion slices and add sesame seeds. Put on some pieces of the chili if you like it hot and sprinkle with the remaining olive oil. Garnish with black olives and green (Greece) peppers.

    Put your dish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with french bread.

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    Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus (Expo Recipe by Joseph Pergolizzi)

    Joseph Pergolizzi of The Fire Within demonstrated the following recipe at Forno Bravo Expo 2011.


    Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

    Cut organic asparagus in half.

    Put in a pot of water.

    Blanch the asparagus right by the oven entrance.

    Boil for 15 minutes or until the asparagus turns bright green.


    Slice organic bacon and cut in halves.

    Wrap bacon tightly around cut pieces asparagus.

    Place on sheet pan toward the front of the oven.

    Bake until bacon is crisp.

    Add sea salt and pepper.

    Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy.


    Great for breakfast or a summer BBQ.


    From Joseph Pergolizzi, The Fire Within ( builds portable wood-fired ovens and helps people start their own catering businesses. More 2011 Expo recipes here:

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    Toasted Almonds

    This is nice, simple appetizer, and a great way to use the retained heat in your oven when you are finished cooking for the day. The trick is to not over toast them, or they will burn.


    • 2 cups uncooked almonds
    • 3 Tbs olive oil


    Almonds can be toasted in a range of oven temperatures, so you will have to control cooking time accordingly.

    Use a small, preheated terracotta dish. Put in a little olive, and then add the raw almonds – with skin on. Toss them a few times to coat with oil and toast to your liking. There is a very narrow time between toasted and burnt (throw them out and start over). Better underdone than burnt, but try to get them toasted.

    Serve as an appetizer. Delicioso!




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