I stumbled on this amazing company in Spain: Imperfectus. On this website you can order a box filled with 'imperfect' fruit and vegetables. I love it so much that I currently have a weekly subscription with them. Every Tuesday I receive a box of 8-10 kilos of fruit and vegetables that are considered too ugly in terms of shape or size to be sold in the supermarket. You do not know what will be in the box as it depends on what's in season, but the products are always fresh. One of the other advantages of this box is than none of the produce is wrapped in any plastic, unlike in all of the supermarkets here in Spain. Every week I will try to come up with new dishes inspired by the contents of my Imperfectus box.
This week's box included zucchini, red bell pepper, mini green bell peppers, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, big onions, lemons, tomatoes, colourful rainbow chard, carrots, plums and different types of peaches.
Potato, chard and chickpea curry
One of the main ingredients of this week's box were those beautiful, colourful chards. You can eat both the stalk and the leaf of a chard, but the stalks need to be cooked a little bit longer so it is best to separate them. Chard is very similar to spinach, but it tastes a little bit more earthier. I chose to make a curry with them, also including the potatoes, one big onion and the green mini bell peppers from the box. I bought some chickpeas and coconut milk from the supermarket.
To begin, you peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces. Bake them in the oven with some olive oil and curry herbs. I used ready-t0-go curry herbs from the supermarket. When the potatoes are in the oven you can cut the chard, onion and bell pepper into pieces. Sauté the onion with some garlic, curry herbs and cayenne pepper in olive oil for a minute or two. Then, add the bell peppers, stalks of the chard and chickpeas and sauté for another two minutes. Add the coconut milk (400ml), bring it to a boil and adjust the taste (e.g. more cayenne pepper if not spicy enough). In the meantime, your potatoes will probably be cooked. Add the potatoes and the leaves of the chard to your vegetable/coconut milk mixture and cook until the leaves are wilted. Now you can eat! You can eat it with some rice or naan bread.
Grilled sandwich with peach, brie and honey
This week I was really excited to use the peaches from the box. The first dish I came up with was a grilled sandwich with peach, brie cheese, honey and basil. The recipe is pretty straightforward. You top the bread (in my case spelt bread) with slices of brie and peach, before sprinkling it with some honey and basil. I grilled the sandwiches on a panini maker, but you can also toast it in a pan or oven.
Quinoa, peach, zucchini, tomato and bean salad
Because I had so many peaches in my box this week, I also decided on a second dish with them: a quinoa salad with grilled peach, grilled zucchini, tomato and white beans. The zucchini and tomatoes were also part of this week's box, so I only had to buy the quinoa and beans. In my supermarket they have quinoa that you can use in salads without having to cook them first. My beans were also already precooked.
This recipe is really simple. You cut the tomatoes into pieces and mix them with the quinoa and beans. Then you cut the zucchini and peaches into slices. I grilled them in my panini maker, but you can also grill them in a pan. For the dressing I used olive oil (1,5 tablespoon), (red wine) vinegar (1 tablespoon), lemon juice (half), salt, garlic, basil and cayenne pepper. Toss everything together and enjoy!