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, green bell pepper, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, pumpkin, eggplant, onion, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, bananas and different types of peaches.
Pumpkin, eggplant, chorizo and blue cheese bake
For the second week in a row I received a pumpkin in my box, and this week's pumpkin was pretty big. Luckily, I once accidentally stumbled on the great pairing of pumpkin, eggplant, chorizo and blue cheese. This dish is really easy to make and super delicious. I used half of the pumpkin and also the two eggplants in the box. From the supermarket I got spicy chorizo and a blue cheese.
I baked the pumpkin with some olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven, but you can also prepare it by cooking it in boiling water. I don't like my pumpkin to be too soft so I chose to bake it in the oven. While the pumpkin is in the oven, sauté the eggplant with some garlic in olive oil. The last thing you need to prepare is the chorizo. Crisp up the chorizo in a hot pan and make them as crispy as you want. I took mine pretty far this time. Mix all three ingredients together after they are cooked/baked and add the blue cheese. I put the mixture in the oven for a couple of minutes until the cheese was melted through.
Swiss chard, potato, chickpeas stir fry
For my second dish I used the Swiss chard, the potatoes, the tomatoes and a little bit of the onion. The only thing I got from the supermarket were prebaked chickpeas. I started by baking the potatoes in the oven, after cutting them into cubes. Then I crisped up the chickpeas in a hot pan with some parsley and a little bit of lemon juice. Once the chickpeas were crispy, I added curry herbs, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. In the meantime, the potatoes started to soften in the oven so I took them out and put them in a pan with some onion and the stems of the Swiss chard. I baked this for a couple of minutes and then added the tomatoes and the leaves of the Swiss chard. Once the chard was wilted, I mixed in the chickpeas and voila!
I made these quesadillas with the zucchinis, green bell pepper and onion from the box. I bought tortillas, Gouda cheese and jalapeños from the supermarket. Cut the zucchinis into slices as this makes it easier to fit them between two tortillas. I also cut one of the green bell peppers and a piece of the onion from the box. I baked these vegetables with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic until they start to soften. I used Gouda cheese for these quesadillas as it is a nice semi-soft cheese that melts really easily, but you can also choose something else. Don't try to make quesadillas without cheese... it will become one big mess in the kitchen while flipping them as the tortillas will not stick together. I also added a little bit of chopped-up jalapeños to make it a bit more spicy. To increase the chance of the tortillas to stick together, I always do two layers of cheese, one on top and one on the bottom. Also, try to press it a little bit before transferring it to a hot pan. Bake the quesadillas in the pan on both sides until crispy and brown. I only lost three pieces of zucchini this time while flipping, which is probably a record!