This week I received my first box from Imperfect Produce. If you aren’t familiar with this company, they are into sourcing food waste.
They buy up food that is not perfect enough to sell to the average consumer. Call it ugly, it’s the type of food that could be left in the field or in a warehouse to be sold at a loss as animal feed or shipped out for further processing. Imperfect Produce decided to capitalize on this waste and they work with farmers, producers, and other sources to offer this salvageable food to their membership at discounted rates.
I really did not know what to expect, but have been impressed with their level of professionalism from my initial contact. If you are in one of their distribution areas, they will set up a regular delivery schedule, most likely once a week or bi-monthly. You decide on the size of the order, an availability offering is provided, and you pick and choose or alter the listing depending on your preferences and needs.
For my first order, I went basic and selected items that would hold well. Their truck delivered the box to my door step mid-afternoon in an imprinted box with handles. The produce was perfectly refrigerated: not too warm, not too cold.
The baby bok choy and broccolini were in good shape; there were onions, potatoes, several lovely small carrots, beautiful cucumbers, and a nicely wrapped bag of serrano peppers; a small cauliflower, apples, and oranges were all in very good condition. There was nothing in the box I would not have selected at my regular market—and it was delivered to me at a very fair price.
Broccolini was the first item I selected to cook from my new produce. I’ve learned this is not baby broccoli. It is a mild and tender cross between Chinese broccoli and broccoli, and it cooks in less time than its broccoli cousin.
To complement broccolini’s inherent sweetness I kept it simple with a quick steam in the microwave, then gave it a drizzle of sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.
Sesame Steamed Broccolini
- 1 lb broccolini
- 2 tsp each sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and red pepper flakes
- toasted sesame seeds
Rinse and trim the broccolini and place it slightly damp in one layer in a microwaveable dish or plate. Cover with plastic wrap.
Microwave 3-4 minutes, stopping at 2 minutes to turn the broccolini with tongs. Cook until tender but still crisp, don’t overcook.
Drizzle lightly with sesame oil, season with salt and red pepper flakes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve. Serves 3 or 4