Squash and Tomato Salad, Roasted Two Ways in a Solar Oven
By Market Chef Maggie Perkins
1 cup sun roasted tomatoes in oil, tomatoes strained, chopped, and reserved
3 small yellow crookneck squash, sliced
2 handfuls braising greens (we used JBG Organics’ arugula) per serving
2 T Bernhardt Farms Kimchee per serving
Strain sun roasted tomato oil into heavy pan, and heat over medium to a shimmer. Saute squash over medium high heat until slightly limp. Toss in reserved chopped tomato. Combine well, reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and reserve
Add greens to warm skillet, adding additional sun roasted tomato oil if necessary. Increase heat to medium high and stir frequently, until greens are fully wilted. Add kimchee and continue stir-frying until all is wilted and well mixed. Transfer greens to plate. Top with squash and tomatoes. Correct seasonings and serve.
Prepare a DIY Solar Oven
We prepared a simple solar oven suitable for cooking vegetables and fruits by kids and adults, alike. The oven demonstrated was prepared using these directions, among many other Internet references, for guidelines. We avoided the use of black paint that was suggested for the interior or exterior of the oven by several sources, choosing heavy black paper tacked to sides with double stick tape in order to eliminate any paint toxin by-products close to food.
We used Styrofoam as an efficient insulator, but you may also substitute loose gravel and/or crumpled newspapers between the walls of two boxes, one fit inside the other with about 1-2 inches space between sides.
Inner box flaps may be covered with aluminum foil to reflect more warmth. Cover oven with a piece of glass (with edges taped to avoid cuts), Plexiglass, or Ziploc-style bags. (Plastic wrap proved to be too flimsy to hold up to the heat.) Monitor heat with a thermometer, maintaining heat around a minimum temperature of 100 degrees. Bring oven in overnight.
Solar Roasting Tomatoes
We used small tomatoes, about the size of golf ball (small Roma tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes would work well), cut in half. Lay halves skin side down and salt lightly. Cover, and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Lightly squeeze over a sink to remove most juice, then drain, cut side down, on paper towel for about 15-30 minutes. Proceed to sun roast, covered, following these guidelines.
Oil-Marinated Sun Roasted Tomatoes
In a sterile jar, combine roasted tomatoes with extra-virgin olive oil. Allow to marinate overnight. An hour prior to preparing salad, add whole garlic and herbs of your choice to tomatoes in jar, combine well, and allow flavors to marry approximately one hour. (SAFETY TIP! Do not store garlic and fresh herbs in oil. Deadly bacteria can form in the anaerobic environment of oil. Do not marinate tomatoes with garlic and herbs in oil any longer than an hour. Remove and discard garlic and herbs after an hour.)
See sources, and suitable substitutions for market vendor products listed, and more, on Notes from Maggie’s Farm.
Photos by Maggie Perkins