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 turnips, chard, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggplant, onions, zucchini, carrots, cucumber, oranges, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranates and pears.
Root vegetables with egg
This week's box included two turnips, another vegetable I had never cooked with before. For my first dish, I decided to pair one with other root vegetables in my box like the carrots and sweet potatoes. I also added one of the eggplants from the box. From the supermarket I got eggs to finish the dish.
Cut all the vegetables in small cubes. Add olive oil to a pan and bake the vegetables until they start to soften. Bring to taste with salt, pepper and parsley. Transfer the vegetables to an oven dish, make a well in the middle and add two raw eggs. Bake in the oven until the eggs are done.
Chard, tomato and bean soup
I incorporated the chard from this week's box in a tomato and bean soup. I got two small cans of chopped tomatoes and two types of beans from the store. From my box, I used the chard and half an onion.
Dice the onion and cut the stalks and leaves of the chard. Keep the stalks and leaves separately. Heat olive oil in a big pan and bake the onion and stalks. Once they start to become translucent, add the tomatoes and beans. Add salt, pepper and herbs like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper (if you like spice) and a little bit of cinnamon. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. To finish, add the leaves to the soup and cook them until wilted.
Sweet potatoes, turnip and chickpeas
This is a very easy and quick recipe with only few ingredients: turnip, sweet potato, onion, garlic and chickpeas. Furthermore you need some herbs to bring it to taste. Peel and cut the turnip and sweet potato. Add olive oil to a pan and add chopped onion. Bake for about five minutes until translucent. Add the turnip, sweet potato, chopped garlic, cayenne pepper and a couple of tablespoons of water. Turn the heat to a low and let it simmer with the lid on. Stir every so often to avoid burning. Once the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. Bake until the chickpeas are heated.
Pasta with broccoli pesto
Once again broccoli in my box and this week I decided to turn it into a pesto sauce for pasta. I also added an eggplant and zucchini to the dish, and incorporated a couple leaves of the chard in the pesto. Other ingredients you need are garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and pasta.
There are recipes online for this pesto where the broccoli is blitzed up raw. I recently figured out my body does not react well to raw broccoli, so I boiled it beforehand. Once the broccoli is cooked you can mix it together with some garlic (1 or 2 cloves), walnuts (one hand), parmesan cheese (half cup), chard leaves, olive oil and lemon juice. I added the chard leaves for a more appetizing colour green. You can also add spinach for this purpose. Add water to turn it into a sauce. Bring to taste with salt, pepper and basil.
I baked the zucchini and eggplant (sliced) with some salt and pepper. Prepare the pasta as stated on the package. Once everything is cooked and prepared, mix it together.