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 sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkin, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, pears, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranates and plums.
Baked sweet potato with guacamole and beans
This week I wanted to do something different with the sweet potatoes. I decided to bake them whole in the oven and top them with guacamole and beans. For this dish I had to buy avocados, lime and beans in the supermarket. The potatoes, onion and tomato used in this recipe are from my box.
Scrub the potatoes clean, pierce a couple of holes in them, coat them with olive oil and put them in a 200 degrees Celsius oven until they are soft on the inside. For the guacamole I mashed two avocados with a diced tomato, diced onion, juice of half a lime, salt, pepper and cilantro. Cut the potatoes in half, top them with the guacamole and some precooked beans.
Eggplant, kale and yogurt salad
This week I wanted to pair the eggplant with the kale. I came up with this fresh salad with a yogurt dressing. Apart from the eggplant and kale, I also used a tomato and cucumber from the box for this recipe. I added some Greek yogurt and lentils which I still had in my fridge.
I sliced the eggplants into bite size pieces and put them on an oven tray with some olive oil, salt and pepper. I baked the eggplant until they were tender and started to char. Then I put them in a bowl and mixed them with a little more olive oil and cumin. For the yogurt sauce I mixed 1 cup of Greek yoghurt with one small grated cucumber, a little bit of lemon juice and garlic. I baked the kale in a dry pan until they were crispy. After all the elements are done you can plate it up the way you like it. Add some lentils to turn it into a full meal.
P.S. I used the leftover kale of the box in a couple of smoothies with persimmon, banana, almond milk, honey and peanut butter. Delicious and healthy!
With this week's pumpkin I made a delicious, healthy soup. Apart from the pumpkin, I also added one zucchini and a little bit of the onion from this week's box. I used some garlic and vegetable broth from my kitchen staples.
Cut the pumpkin (peeled) and zucchini into pieces. Bake the sliced onion and garlic in a pan for about five minutes. Add the pumpkin and zucchini and bake until the vegetables start to char a little bit. Cover the vegetables with vegetable broth (about 700ml), bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the pumpkin is soft. Use a stick blender or a normal blender to blitz it smooth. You can add a little bit of milk or cream to make it more creamy, but I didn't feel it was necessary this time. I ate the soup with some spelt bread and goat cheese.
For my last dish of the week I used all of the bell peppers and one of the onions in the box. I added pasta and parmesan cheese from the store, and used garlic, parsley and vinegar from my staples.
Cook the pasta and save some of the cooking water. After cutting and deseeding the bell peppers, bake them with olive oil, salt and pepper on a low heath for about 15 minutes. Add a diced onion, finely chopped garlic (2 cloves) and some parsley. Bake for another 20 minutes. Add two tablespoons of vinegar (red wine or balsamic), a couple of tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and mix it well. Then add the cooked pasta, some more olive oil and a little bit of the cooking water of the pasta. Plate up and sprinkle some more parmesan cheese on top.