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, eggplant, onion, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, garlic, bananas, plums and peaches.
Potato and vegetable bake
Once again I got these amazing vegetables to work with. I decided to throw a couple of them together for a simple and delicious oven dish. All ingredients for this recipe came from this week's box, with the exception of some herbs I already had at home. I took the potato, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato and some garlic and onion from the box. The potatoes need the most time in the oven. I put them in an oven tray with some garlic, onion, salt, pepper and herbs like basil, oregano and parsley. I baked the potatoes for 20 minutes in a 200 degrees Celcius oven, before adding the vegetables and baking it for another 10 minutes.
Spaghetti with chard, garlic, lemon zest and croutons
Before signing up for the Imperfectus subscription I didn't really cook that much with Swiss chard. As this was the third time in the last four weeks there was chard in the box I had to resort to the internet for some inspiration. I found a delicious looking pasta recipe with chard incorporated in it. Apart from the chard, I also used some of the onion and a lot of the garlic from the box. I got some bread, spaghetti and a lemon from the store.
I baked the stems from the chard in olive oil with some onion and about five garlic cloves. I also added some chili powder for a bit of spiciness. Then I added the leaves of the chard until wilted. I crisped up some pieces of bread in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic. When everything is done you can plate up: cooked spaghetti topped with the chard mixture, some lemon zest and the crispy bread.
Peach, Serrano ham and burrata salad
For my third dish I used some of the peaches. I combined it with some burrata and Serrano ham from the story. I made a balsamic glaze from balsamic vinegar and honey. Heat up the vinegar and honey and let it simmer until it thickens (about 15 minutes). I left the peaches raw this time, but you could also grill them.
Vinegar marinated cucumber salad
For this little salad I used the cucumbers from the box. I cut them into thin slices and immersed them in a mixture of red wine vinegar (half a cup), water (quarter of a cup) and honey (quarter of a cup). Leave this mixture in the fridge for at least an hour so the cucumber soaks up the liquid. This would also be good with red onion.