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/red bell pepper, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, cherry tomatoes, mini green peppers, leek, basil, bananas, pears, plums and peaches.
Toast with tomato, mozzarella and basil pesto
Every week I'm so excited to unpack my Imperfectus box. Food just makes me happy! This time I got super thrilled when I saw the basil in the box. Immediately my mind went to the classic combination of basil and tomato. Luckily I also got these amazing beef tomatoes (tomate corazón de buey) so I couldn't go wrong. I decided to make toast with those tomatoes, mozzarella and a pesto made from the basil.
For the pesto I blended the basil (about 1 cup) with Parmesan cheese (half cup), olive oil (quarter cup), pine nuts (1 tablespoon) and garlic (1 or 2 cloves). I first only added a quarter cup of Parmesan cheese, but the pesto tasted a little bit too bitter so I balanced that out with some more of the cheese.
The rest of this recipe is pretty straightforward. I put some olive oil on both sides of the bread and toasted it on my panini grill. I sliced the mozzarella and tomatoes and put everything together. This is perfect as a side dish or as a lunch.
Meatballs with Greek salad
For my second dish I decided to pair some of the box's ingredients with meatballs. I took the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and some of the lettuce from the box. I also used some of the onion and last week's garlic for the meatballs. I got minced meat, feta cheese, chickpeas, Greek yogurt and some ingredients for the meatballs from the store.
For the meatballs I combined the minced meat with some chopped onion, garlic, one egg, about 50 gram of Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Last year I followed a low carb diet and I found out that instead of breadcrumbs you can also use Parmesan cheese as a binder. For these meatballs I used minced chicken meat, but you can also choose beef if you prefer. I made little balls from this meat mixture and baked them in a hot pan with olive oil.
I chopped the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese and combined them with salt, pepper and two tablespoons of Greek yogurt. I roasted the chickpeas in the oven with some olive oil. Once the chickpeas are crisp, you can add the herbs you like. I used one big leave of the lettuce (they were huge!) as a tortilla and topped it with the salad mixture, the meatballs and chickpeas.
Leek, potato and goat cheese bake
The leeks in this week's box also caught my attention. I chose to combine them with the potatoes and bake them in the oven with goat cheese and Parmesan cheese from the store. I peeled the potatoes, cut them into pieces and boiled them in water. You can also bake them in the oven or in a pan if you like. I baked the leek with one clove of the garlic from last week's box, both chopped into pieces. I added some salt, pepper and parsley to this mixture. Once the potatoes and leek were cooked I mixed it together in an oven dish with the goat cheese. I put some Parmesan cheese on top and baked it in the oven for about 10 minutes until the goat cheese it melted and there is a nice brown crisp on top.