May 2010

No. 15; Photo Inspiration & Terracotta Bakeware



Late spring and early summer usher in beautiful weather, and we’re always in the mood to cook! The season’s delicious fresh fruits and vegetables inspire us to come up with new recipes to enjoy the bounty of produce. And speaking of inspiration ... that happens to be our theme for this month’s Wood-Fired Newsletter!

We’ve learned that photographs often provide ideal inspiration when someone is thinking of designing a wood-fired oven or creating an outdoor kitchen area from the ground up. That’s why we started our Photos section on the website, so our customers could share pictures and ideas with each other and spread that inspiration around. See below for more on how the Photos section is growing, as well as a related contest.

Last month’s contest involved our new Wood-Fired FAQ: The winner of the best question and answer combo wins a Forno Bravo T-shirt! We’ll be announcing that winner soon, so stay tuned. Visit the growing FAQ section to find quick answers to your questions or give some advice of your own.

And about that T-shirt ... You can now purchase your own Forno Bravo Got Wood? T-shirt ($22 in the Forno Bravo Store)! Available in red and black, the shirt has our logo on the front, and the phrase “Got Wood?” and the logo on the back.

Also, just in time for that colorful summer produce, we’re introducing some new colors – bright red and vivid orange –  and sizes in our popular terracotta bakeware. Read more on that to the right.

Finally, a quick note on the Boston to Big Sur Challenge: I did it! In April, I ran both races, and the team raised more than $30,000 for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. For those who don’t know about the challenge, it’s two marathons, two coasts, six days, 52.4 miles – and at times I thought I had zero brains. We will continue selling the Team Reeve eBooks and matching all customer donations. By the way, I’m going to keep running.

Best regards, and happy cooking!

Wood-Fired Inspiration Through Photos

Planning any home improvement or renovation project is always easier with a little inspiration. And what better way to be inspired than to look at photos of successfully completed projects?

We’ve learned from our own experience, and from listening to others’ stories, that a little photographic inspiration can go a long way. That’s why we’re thrilled the Photos section on the Forno Bravo website is growing by leaps and bounds!

We now have 27 pages of customer-submitted photos on our website. Wood-fired oven users from all over the world have sent in hundreds of photos representing different design styles and outdoor kitchen layouts, with photos from: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Japan, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, the Virgin Islands, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. Wow!

Of course, this worldwide show of love for wood-fired cooking makes us very happy.

To view the photos, visit our Photos section. Each page has a thumbnail of the oven photo. If you click on the thumbnail, you can view a full-size photo.

If you’ve completed your oven design or outdoor kitchen: We invite you to send in images of your projects. Others will benefit from seeing your work – and who knows what creativity you may inspire! Check out our special content below, too!

For those of you in need of a little inspiration: See our Design Styles section (igloo, corner oven, stone house, barrel vault and many more!) and the Photos section ... and start building! We look forward to seeing your results.

Recipe: Baked Mediterranean Rice

Many of you have told us that you love recipe ideas for wood-fired cooking ... and we’re listening! Here is a great recipe that makes use of our terracotta bakeware: Baked Mediterranean Rice.

This dish is also a perfect opportunity to include some of those wonderful summer veggies. (You can always check out the Recipes section of our website for recipes by ingredient and more.)

Baked Mediterranean Rice


1 cup Arborio rice
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed and chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (no seeds)
1 tomato, cored and chopped (no seeds)
1 zucchini, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups hot beef or chicken stock


Fire your oven until it reaches 700ºF, and then allow the temperature to fall to about 500ºF, maintaining a bed of coals for sautéing the rice and vegetables and to bake the rice.

Heat a terracotta baking dish in a moderately hot fired oven, and then add olive oil.

In the heated pan, sauté the chopped vegetables for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and lightly brow, then remove from the pan. Alternatively, you can sauté the vegetables in a pan on your cook top.

Add the onion, garlic and more olive oil to the empty terracotta pan, and bake for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat, and then sauté the rice for 2-3 minutes. Do not brown the rice.

Bake for 20-30 minutes. Rotate the dish a few times if you have coals or a fire in your oven, and one side is hotter than the other.

Special Photo Contest!

Win a Forno Bravo T-shirt

In keeping with the photographic inspiration theme of this month’s newsletter, our special contest for May involves ... guess what ... photos! We want to see your favorite wood-fired oven-related pictures.

  1. E-mail your best photo(s) to info@fornobravo.com between now and June 30.
  2. In the subject line, please type “Forno Bravo Photo Contest.”
  3. Include the city and state where the oven/kitchen resides.
  4. Selected entries will be added to the Photos section of our website.
  5. We’ll pick our favorite photo – and announce the lucky winner in early July. He or she will receive a Forno Bravo “Got Wood?” T-shirt!

Good luck!