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.
Unfortunately this is my last Imperfectus box as I'm leaving Spain. I wish I could continue with them at my new place, but sadly that is not possible. This week's box included beets, spinach, broccoli, leek, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots, apples, oranges, tangerines, persimmons, pears and kiwis.
Sweet potato, chorizo and spinach chili
My first dish is some amazing comfort food for the winter. I used a little bit of the onion, the sweet potatoes and the spinach from the box. I bought chorizo, a can of beans, a can of chopped tomatoes and avocados in the store.
I prepared the chorizo separately, because I wanted it to stay crispy. Chop the chorizo into pieces and bake until they are crisped up. You do not need any olive oil for this. In a different pan, bake some chopped onion and garlic. Once they have become translucent, add peeled and diced sweet potatoes. Bake for a couple of minutes. Then add a can of beans and a can of chopped tomatoes. You don't need to drain the beans. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer until the potatoes start to soften. Add strips of spinach and mix it through until they are wilted. Add the chorizo at the end and finish the dish with some mashed avocado.
Almost every week I receive two huge onions in my box. I still had four onions at home before receiving another two in this week's box. I decided to turn them into an onion soup. Chop all of the onions and try not to cry! Add some olive oil to a pan, bring it to a heat and add the onions. Bake and stir until the onions have softened (about 15-20 minutes in my case). Add some balsamic vinegar to help the browning process. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Then add vegetable or beef broth, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Bring to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it with toasted bread with melted cheese on top.
Broccoli, leek and zucchini pasta
My third dish is a pasta with green vegetables and a cheese sauce. I used the broccoli, zucchini and leek from the box. I bought pasta, (almond) milk, cheddar and parmesan cheese to finish the dish.
Boil the pasta and broccoli. In the meantime, bake the leek and zucchini with some salt and pepper. Once the leek and zucchini have softened, add one cup of almond milk, one cup of grated cheddar cheese and half a cup of grated parmesan cheese. Stir really well until the cheese is melted. Add some flour if you like to thicken up the sauce. Keep tasting the sauce as it might need some adjustments, more cheese if it tastes bland or more milk if it is too cheesy. Once all the components are done, mix them together and finish with some parmesan cheese on top.
Pink vegetable bake
For my last dish I just simply threw all the vegetables I had left together. As I'm in the middle of a move, I can't leave any food behind in my apartment. I baked the root vegetables together: potato, carrot, turnip and beets. The beets made the dish look as pink as on the second picture. Cut and peel all of the vegetables and bake with some salt and pepper until they start to soften.