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 pumpkin, sweet potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, green bell pepper, chili peppers, kale, onions, lettuce, cucumber, bananas, apples, pomegranates and plums.
Sweet potato, kale and lentil stew
Sweet potato and kale is such a beautiful pairing and if you add some beans it becomes a full nutritious meal. This time I made a delicious stew with these vegetables. Apart from the potatoes and kale, I also used some of the onions, tomatoes and carrots from this week's box. I bought lentils in the supermarket and added some garlic and vegetable broth from my own kitchen stock.
Start by baking some onion and garlic until they start to become translucent. Then add the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, lentils (with the liquid) and add one cube of vegetable broth. Make sure the potatoes and carrots are covered with liquid. If not, add a little bit of water. Add salt, pepper and other herbs if you like, bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the potatoes start to soften. Add the kale and let it simmer for another couple of minutes. You can eat this stew with rice, bread, tortillas or without any additions.
Pumpkin and eggplant parmigiana
I had this amazing, cute pumpkin in my 'imperfect' box this week and I just had to make something with it. Pumpkin and eggplant combine really well together so I decided to do my twist of a parmigiana. I also used some of the onion and tomatoes from this week's box. From the store, I got organic tomato sauce and grated mozzarella cheese.
For this dish you need to prepare three things: roasted pumpkin slices, grilled eggplant slices and a tomato sauce. I roasted the pumpkin slices in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper until they started to soften. I grilled the eggplant slices with olive oil, salt and pepper on my panini grill. For the sauce I baked some onion, garlic and chopped tomatoes before adding the organic tomato sauce. Season the tomato sauce with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and basil. Let it simmer for a while.
If you have finished all three elements you can layer up. Start with a layer of roasted pumpkin, add half of the tomato sauce, put a bit of the mozzarella on top, add a layer of eggplant slices and finish with the remainder of the sauce and mozzarella on top. Bake this dish for about 20-30 minutes in the oven until the cheese has turned crispy. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before trying to scoop it perfectly on your plate.
Green pepper hummus sandwich
Last week I had already experimented with roasted bell peppers. I was so happy with that result that I wanted to repeat it, but this time for a hummus. I didn't only roast the bell peppers, but also the chili peppers of this week's box. In hindsight, this was a little bit too spicy so maybe add more bell peppers or fewer chili peppers if you follow this recipe.
Roast the peppers in the oven until they start to wrinkle and blacken (flip the peppers once). Take them out of the oven and cover them with a bowl. The steam will make it easier to take the skin off. Take the skin of the peppers and remove the seeds inside, you only going to use the flesh of the peppers. In last week's post you can see my method for doing this. Add chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin to the flesh of the peppers and mix it with a blender. Keep adding chickpeas or the liquid of the chickpeas to get the right consistency. As mine was very spicy, I had to add more lemon juice and thus more chickpeas to keep the right consistency.
For the sandwiches I also used the cucumber and some of the onion from this week's box. I added Greek yogurt and feta which I already had in my fridge. Choose the bread to your liking (I chose spelt), spread the hummus on top, add a teaspoon of yogurt, a couple of cucumber cubes and chopped onions and finish with a bit of parsley and crumbled feta on top.