January 2013
No. 46; We’ve Moved & Kale-Leek Gratin
header photo
sidebar photo


Happy 2013 from Forno Bravo! We hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the new year. It’s been a busy but exciting time for us, as we have moved into our new facility. Read more about our new space at right.

Our photo contest, winter edition, continues. We’ve received some excellent entries of beautiful ovens showcased in the snow, and look forward to your last-minute photos. Contest details are below.

Pizza Quest is going strong. If you haven’t visited in a while, I encourage you to do so. Host Peter Reinhart shares a new webisode from Basta below (on beer and cheese pairing … yes, please).

Finally, we’ve included a hearty recipe ideal for winter days. Cooking this kale and leek gratin in your wood-fired oven will certainly keep the cold at bay.

As always, we are grateful to our customers and to the larger wood-fired community. We hope you’ll stay in touch, through the Wood-Fired Blog, Forno Bravo Forum, our Facebook page and/or any of our other online sites. Of course, you can always just call us at (800) 407-5119.

Happy cooking,

P.S. My wife, Carrie, has just published her first book, a historical novel on ancient Rome. (There’s a wood-fired oven mentioned in the text, so I think that’s a fair enough connection to mention it here.) Read more about Nobilissima on the blog, and congratulations, Carrie!

Photo Contest, Winter Edition

Pizza Oven in the Snow

Last call for entries! As announced in December, we have been running an oven photo contest, winter edition. It’s such a treat for us to see pictures of wood-fired ovens in different environments, and we know many of you gain inspiration from browsing our online photo albums and Forum galleries.

The beautiful photo included here was sent in by Vance K. from Sheridan Lake, British Columbia. Outside temp when this photo was taken? Minus 17 degrees Celsius! That’s dedication.

We look forward to more entries from you, snow-covered and otherwise. Note that this contest is for the best photo, not the best oven. Oven owners who have submitted photos in previous contests can take new pictures for this one.

How it works:

  • Email your entries to photos@fornobravo.com between now and January 31. Include your name and oven location, and put "Photo Contest" in the subject line.
  • We'll pick five finalists and post them in the Forno Bravo Forum on February 1, along with a poll for you to vote for your favorite. We'll link to the poll from Facebook as well.
  • We'll announce the best photo award in the February newsletter and on Facebook.
  • The winner earns a Forno Bravo "Got Wood?" T-shirt and bragging rights.

Peter’s Corner: Beer and Cheese Pairing

Pizza QuestPeter Reinhart, our Pizza Quest host, baking instructor and baker extraordinaire, introduces the third installment of a new webisode series featuring Basta, a wood-fired restaurant in Boulder.

In this webisode segment, Alan and Kelly [from Basta] take us through a virtual master class of beer and cheese pairing, as well as showing how it compares to more familiar wine and cheese pairings. In essence, they touch on the major principles of food pairing in general. In these brief six minutes, you will go through the same process they and other chefs and beverage directors go through on a daily basis when determining what to match with what. I love the moment when Alan explains that the Roquefort “ … brings out the fruit in this beer that I wouldn’t have found before.” Fruit? Who knew?

Beer and Cheese Pairing

– Peter

For more on this webisode, see Peter’s original post on Pizza Quest.

Recipe: Kale and Roasted Leek Gratin

We hope you enjoy this month's featured recipe from the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook, written by our chef moderator Dan Compton.

Kale and Roasted Leek Gratin



  • 1 quart cream
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 oz hearty white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bunches kale, destemmed and washed
  • 1 T sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock
  • 3 leeks
  • 5 oz pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • butter, for greasing baking dish
  • salt and black pepper

Place the cream in a high-sided pot along with the thyme and one strip of zest from the lemon. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat so the cream is simmering, and allow to reduce by half. Cut the white bread into small cubes and place in a 250°F oven for 15 minutes to dry out.

Meanwhile, heat half the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the aromatics just start to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the kale, vegetable stock, vinegar and juice from the half lemon. Season with salt and pepper, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid in the pot is gone and the kale is tender. This can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the variety and relative heartiness of the kale you are using. Be patient.

While the kale is cooking, clean and cook the leeks. Remove the darkest green, fibrous portion of each leek and discard. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, leaving the root end intact. Place in a sink or bowl of clean water and wash thoroughly, pulling apart the tops of each leek and allowing the dirt and sand to settle to the bottom. Remove from the water, pat dry, and season with the remaining vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Place in a heat-proof vessel and roast in your wood oven, turning once, until the leeks are tender and well-browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice off the root ends and discard, then cut the leeks into bite-sized pieces.

When all the components are ready, combine everything in the kale pot: Strain the cream into the kale and discard the thyme and lemon peel. Add the leeks, bread cubes and 3 oz of the pecorino. Mix everything together thoroughly and check for seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 8x8 baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Place in a medium-hot wood oven and allow the gratin to bake for approximately 30 minutes or until it is bubbly and beginning to brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a nice piece of roasted beef and a big hearty cabernet sauvignon.