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.
The last couple of weeks I received this gigantic lettuce in my box which was unfortunately too much to eat by myself. I asked Imperfectus if they could leave this out and replace it with something else, because I don't like to waste any food. This was no problem at all as you can see on the picture. This week's box included sweet potatoes, yellow bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, onions, cucumber, apples, pears, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranates and plums.
Quinoa, sweet potato, bean and roasted bell pepper salad
The yellow bell peppers were a nice surprise after receiving so many red and green bell peppers. It took me a while to decide what to do with them though. I chose to pair them with half of the sweet potatoes to make a simple, colourful salad. I also used half of one of the onions from this week's box. I got quinoa and red beans from the supermarket (both precooked).
I cut the bell pepper into pieces and roasted them on my panini grill, but you can achieve the same results in a pan or in the oven. I peeled and cut the potatoes and onion and baked them in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin. Then I mixed the roasted pepper and baked potatoes with the quinoa and beans. To finish the dish I sprinkled some olive oil and lemon juice on top.
Sweet potato, onion and blue cheese bake
Because there were a lot of sweet potatoes in my box this week, I made two dishes with them. I peeled and diced the potatoes and put them in the oven with some olive oil and salt and pepper. In the meantime, I baked one diced onion with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and two tablespoons of honey. After the onions were baked, I added them together with the blue cheese to the potatoes in the oven. The dish is ready when the potatoes are baked and the cheese is melted.
Persimmon, brie and cured ham grilled sandwich
In this week's box I found three persimmon fruits. I had never eaten these fruits before so I was curious to find out what I could do with them. After tasting, I decided to use them in a grilled sandwich together with brie cheese and a cured ham (serrano, prosciutto). I sliced the brie cheese and the persimmon and put them together with the ham in between two slices of bread. I grilled the sandwiches on my panini grill.
Eggplant and chickpeas stew
For this dish I used the two eggplants and one of the onions from the box. I bought chickpeas, a can of chopped tomatoes and tortillas, while also using some staples from home. First chop the onion and eggplants. Bake the onion for a couple of minutes and then add the spices you like. I used garlic, cumin, turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the eggplant, chopped tomatoes (can of 800g) and chickpeas (including its liquid). Bring this mixture to a boil before transferring it to an oven dish. Cover the oven dish with some foil and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Serve it with tortillas, pita bread or something similar.