Monday, May 10, 2010

No Mess Baked Asparagus

The most challenging part of today's solar cooking project was maintaining the correct oven temperature. I got the idea to bake asparagus in a parchment paper packet from an article in the New York Times. Once the asparagus is seasoned - I used olive oil and kosher salt - and wrapped in the paper, it is then baked at 200ºF for about ninety minutes. Out of habit I set the Sun Oven out and focused it towards the sun for maximum exposure. When my packet was ready to go the oven had already reached 350ºF. I fiddled with the Sun Oven's position and got it down to the desired temperature by turning it out of the direct sunlight. I did need to continue turning it every twenty minutes or so to keep the temperature from dropping too far. It's actually a pretty good method for cooking asparagus. I like the texture and flavor much better than a steamer. I think I'll try the same technique with other vegetables especially because Sun Oven + parchment paper = zero clean up!


  1. My name is Lydia Peterson and I have recently happened on your blog. I am doing a similar project for a high school physics project, where I need to live a few days eating only foods that I can cook from my solar oven. If you follow this link, you will be able to see my "blog" and what I have been able to accomplish. My question is, do you have any advice? I am struggling to find any simple foods that I can make during the school day that are fairly fool-proof. After cooking for almost a year, I feel that you must have some great ideas. Thank you for your time, and thanks for doing this blog!

  2. Hi Lydia, Welcome to my blog. Beans and rice are usually pretty fool-proof. I checked out your blog. Looks like you're having fun building solar cooking devices. I do have one suggestion. Try making the cooking chamber black. If you put foil inside the chamber it will actually deflect the heat away from what you are cooking. Also if you put your pot - preferably a dark lightweight one - in and oven bag it will help. I have very little experience with homemade solar cookers. As you can imagine they are a lot less reliable than a Sun Oven, but for many they are a great introduction to cooking with the sun.