The rutabaga and buttermilk give these mashed potatoes great flavor and texture.
Sun Oven Potato and Rutabaga Mash
1 large rutabaga (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
As the days get longer solar cooking becomes a whole lot easier.
Even on a busy day, like mine was today, you’re more likely to get at least part of your evening meal into the Sun Oven before it’s too late.
It was mid afternoon by the time I got some acorn squash going, but there was still plenty of time to roast it to perfection. To keep it simple, I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, and seasoned it with some olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar just before serving for a splash of color and extra flavor.
These smashed potatoes along with steamed kale, broccoli, or other green vegetable go great with beef, chicken, or pork.
Garlicky Sun Oven Smashed Potatoes
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons minced garlic
It’s a shame to let any of those Easter eggs go to waste but if you’re like me there’s a limit to how much egg salad you can eat. Luckily, solar roasted asparagus is delicious with crumbled hard boiled eggs and vinaigrette.
Sun Oven Asparagus with Egg and Vinaigrette
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
There’s no excuse for not eating your veggies if you have a Sun Oven. Most vegetables come out great with just a little oil and sunshine.
Sun Oven Braised Baby Bok Choy
4 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
In a dark, lightweight pot, toss the bok choy with the oil. Season with salt. Cover and cook in the SunOven until soft, 30 to 4o minutes.
This lovely purée goes well with roasts but could also be served with a salad for a light, vegetarian lunch.
Sunny Sun Oven Sweet Potato Purée
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total) peeled and chopped
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
Solar braised carrots go great with grilled chicken or fish. For extra flavor, toss them with drained capers or chopped black olives when they come out of the Sun Oven.
Garlicky Sun Oven Braised Carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 carrots, peeled and sliced
12 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Toss all the ingredients in a dark, light-weight pot. Cover and place in Sun Oven. Cook until the carrots are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Adjust for salt and serve.
As the days get shorter and the weather less predictable I tend to do more hybrid cooking. I’ll start a dish out in the Sun Oven and finish it stove top or in the conventional oven. This recipe lends itself perfectly to dual heat sources. The carrots and potatoes can be solar roasted early in the day, then if the clouds roll in, or you want to eat after sunset, the assembled dish can be baked in your indoor oven at dinnertime.
Sun Oven Potato and Carrot Bake
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 pound carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 to 1 cup milk, warmed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Put the carrots in a shallow pot, add 1/3 cup water, and dot with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Arrange the potatoes around the sides of the pot and on the lid if they don’t all fit. Cook until carrots and potatoes are tender, about 2 hours. Leave the Sun Oven out. Press the carrots and any cooking juices through a ricer into a large bowl. Cut the potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh, and press through the rice into the bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, cheese, and gradually add the milk until reaching the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt. Butter an oval roasting pan or baking dish. Spread the potato mixture out in the pan (Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill). Cover and bake in the Sun Oven until heated through and browned, about 45 minutes. (For conventional ovens, preheat to 350˚F and bake uncovered).
I finally got a chance to use my new baking dishes with the silicone lids and I’m very pleased. So pleased that I might have to make a non-birthday trip to Ikea to get the larger ones. I didn’t make anything fancy.
I drizzled a bit of olive oil on some asparagus, snapped the lid on, and popped it in the Sun Oven. The lid fits so snuggly that I was afraid it would trap too much moisture and the spears would be soggy, but after an hour or so in the Sun Oven on a partially cloudy day they came out just fine.
The black lid does make it pretty much impossible to see what’s going on, however, I knew they were ready by the tell-tale condensation build up on the cooking chambers glass door.
Here’s an easy to make (although slightly time consuming to assemble) vegetable side dish that makes good use of the abundance of summer squash from the garden. Stack the pot on top of one with your main dish and you’ve got yourself a fully solar cooked meal.
Sun Oven Summer Vegetable Tian
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and sliced