If you’ve been following this blog you have probably realized by now that I am not a solar cooking purist. Sometimes for fun I like to do all the steps of a recipe in the Sun Oven and it’s nice to know it the back of my mind that things like sauteing and steaming can be done in it if necessary, but for my everyday cooking I usually choose the cooking method based on convenience and results. I cook the green beans for this savory pie the way I learned in Italy, because I think they taste better, and since the potatoes cook while I’m preparing the beans I boil them inside too. Once the pie is assembled it goes in to the Sun Oven to bake.
Solar Green Bean and Potato Pie (adapted from ‘Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking’ by Marcella Hazan)
1/2 pound boiling potatoes
1 pound fresh green beans
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
Extra virgin olive oil
Plain bread crumbs
A 9-inch springform pan
Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.
Wash the potatoes, put them in a pot with enough cold water to cover them well and bring to a boil.
Trim the green beans and soak them in a large boil of cold water for 10 minutes. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. When water returns to a rapid boil add the drained green beans. Adjust heat so that it boils at a moderate pace. Drain the beans when they are just tender and have lost their raw flavor, 6 to 10 minutes. Chop the beans until very fine in a food processor, do not puree. Drain the potatoes when tender. Peel them and pass them through a food mill or potato ricer. Combine beans, potatoes, eggs, salt, pepper, and marjoram in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Lightly smear the baking pan with olive oil. Sprinkle bread crumbs generously over the bottom and the sides of the pan, invert the pan to shake out excess crumbs. Put bean and potato mixture into the pan, distributing it evenly and leveling it with a spatula. Top with more bread crumbs and a drizzling of olive oil. Bake in the GSO for about 90 minutes. Cool on a rack for about ten minutes, run a knife around the edges and carefully release the ring of the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings.