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, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, oranges, apples, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranates, lemons and plums.
Orange and lentil salad
This week's special items in the box were the oranges. I used them in two of my dishes this week. In this recipe I have incorporated them in a simple salad. Apart from the oranges, I also used some of the onion, the red bell pepper and the cucumber from the box. I bought precooked lentils from the store. It can't get easier than this, just cut everything and mix it together. I used the juice of half an orange, some olive oil, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley to dress the salad.
Potato and eggplant bake
For this dish I used the potatoes, eggplant and some of the onion of this week's box. I got a can of crushed tomatoes from the store and used some of my garlic at home. Start by cutting the eggplant into slices. Place them on an oven tray, sprinkle with olive oil and some salt. Bake until they start to soften. In the meantime, bake the onion and garlic in some olive oil until they start to become translucent. Add the crushed tomatoes and some parsley, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for a while. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices. On an oven tray, line up the potatoes slices and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Place the grilled eggplant on top an add the tomato mixture on top of the eggplants. Bake this for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Chicken, sweet potato and orange
This is the second dish in which I used the oranges of this week's box. I also incorporated the sweet potatoes and a lemon in this recipe. I bought chicken (with skin), chickpeas and feta in the supermarket.
Marinate the chicken with lemon juice (2 tablespoons), olive oil (2 tablespoons) and garlic. Let this sit for at least 20 minutes. Bake the chicken skin side down until the skin gets charred. Then transfer to an oven and bake until cooked through (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, peel and cut the sweet potatoes. Boil them until they are soft enough to mash. Slice the oranges and bake them in a pan until they are charred.
To plate up: start by putting some of the sweet potato mash on a plate. Place the chicken, orange slices and some chickpeas on top. Sprinkle feta and a little bit of lemon and orange juice over the dish.
Zucchini, pepper and chorizo pasta
For my last dish of the week I used the zucchinis, the green bell peppers and some of the onion from the box. I got the spaghetti and spicy chorizo from the store. Cook the spaghetti in the usual way. In the meantime, cut the chorizo, zucchini, bell pepper and onion. Bake the chorizo in a dry pan until they start to become crispy. Then add the zucchini, pepper and onion and bake until the vegetables start to soften. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix with the cooked spaghetti and enjoy.