Asparagus solar baked in parchment paper comes out evenly cooked without being mushy or floppy. Ideally it should be baked at a low temperature, around 200ºF, for about 90 minutes. Keeping the Sun Oven at such a low temperature requires a bit of attention, it needs to be focused slightly away from the sun and adjusted every 30 minutes or so. If you get distracted the temperature could drop or increase too much. But with a little patience you’ll be rewarded with deliciously crisp spears infused with whatever seasoning you choose. For a quick lunch spread some asparagus on a sheet of parchment paper, drizzle them with olive oil, season with tarragon, toss in some sliced prosciutto and mushrooms. Using a stapler (or kitchen string if you prefer) make a pouch. Bake at 200ºF for 90 minutes. Serve over whole-wheat couscous. Experiment with different seasonings and don’t worry if the GSO gets too hot, it will cook a little faster but will still be delicious.
This casserole is better than it looks in the picture. It can be served as a side dish or paired with solar roasted squash to make a nice vegetarian main course. Broccoli can be used in place of the asparagus.
Asparagus and Brown Rice Casserole
2 cups brown rice
4 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces neufchatel cheese
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine water, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a dark pot, cover and place in Global Sun Oven. Cook until the rice is tender. About 1 hour.
While the rice is cooking heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and sauté until the onions are translucent. About 5 mimutes. Add the asparagus, stir to combine and saute for another 3 minutes.
Add the cheese to the skillet, breaking it up as stirring to coat the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the vegetable cheese mixture with the rice and fresh basil in a large bowl.
Spread the mixture in an oiled casserole dish, cover tightly with tin foil and a dark tea towel. Place in Global Sun Oven and bake until heated through. Serve hot.
Makes 6 servings