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 leek, chard, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, onions, zucchini, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, oranges, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranates, pears and kiwis.
Spinach, zucchini and hummus pasta
For my first dish this week I made a pasta with the zucchinis and spinach from my box. I made a sauce from chickpeas which I bought in the store. I also used some spaghetti and garlic from my kitchen staples.
To prepare, chop some onion, cut the zucchinis into quarters and the spinach into strips. Cook the spaghetti as stated on the package. To make the sauce, start by baking some onion and garlic in a pan. Once they start to become translucent after a couple of minutes, add three quarters of a can of chickpeas, including some of its liquid. Add some salt and pepper and bake until the chickpeas are heated through. Blitz it smooth with a stick blender. You can add some water if the sauce is too thick. In the meantime, start baking the zucchini and the rest of the onion. Add salt and pepper and other herbs you might like. Once the zucchini starts to get tender, add spinach and bake until wilted. Once the spaghetti, sauce and vegetables are all done, mix them together with the rest of the chickpeas.
Potato and leek gratin
Potatoes and leek pair really well together so I decided to incorporate them in an oven dish. The other ingredients you are going to need for this recipe are milk, gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese and garlic.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into really thin slices. Put them into a pan with milk (about 2,5 cup) and garlic (2 cloves) and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer until the potatoes start to become tender. Drain the potatoes, but keep one cup of the milk separately. In the meantime, halve the leeks and cut into slices. Bake the leek with some salt and pepper until they are soft.
Once the potatoes and leek are done you can layer up in an oven dish. Start with half of the potato topped by half of the leek. Sprinkle some gruyere cheese on top. Add the other half of the potato and then the other half of the leek. Add another layer of gruyere. Pour the milk on top (the cup you saved after draining the potatoes) and finish with some grated parmesan cheese on top. Cover the oven dish with aluminium foil and bake until the cheese is melted. Remove the foil and bake until the top starts to brown.
Sweet potato and broccoli curry
For my last dish I made a curry with the sweet potatoes and broccoli from my box. I also used some of the onions and green peppers from the box. From the store I got a can of chickpeas, a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of coconut milk.
To prepare, chop the onions and peppers (unseeded), peel and cut the potatoes, and cut the broccoli into small florets. Start by baking the onions in some olive oil. Once they start to become translucent you can add the herbs for the curry. You could buy curry herbs in the store, or make an interesting mix yourself. I used garlic, turmeric, ginger, cumin, paprika and cinnamon. Bake for one minute and then add the potatoes and the peppers. Coat them with the herbs and bake for a couple of minutes. Then add a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of coconut milk. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and drained chickpeas and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve it with rice or bread.