A few weeks ago I started an experiment: getting a box of vegetables delivered every week. It was in the nature of laying down a challenge to myself – could I cope with planning and cooking meals with whatever came in this week’s box, without ending up with a lot of mouldy unused veg.
So far it has been easier than I expected. I soon graduated to Abel and Cole boxes, which are pretty good quality and so far have not contained anything I didn’t instantly recognize. I have to admit that good quality veg makes the process a whole lot easier: it is more inspiring, more satisfying to cook, and there’s less of a scramble to use up items before they become completely inedible.
I would say that you need a certain amount of confidence as a cook to use a vegetable box. I tried one before as a young woman and couldn’t handle the pressure! You have to have a number of basic recipes up your sleeve – soups, rissottos, stir fries and so on – that will use just about any vegetable you can think of. I do prefer to go for very simple dishes, largely because I don’t often have time to get a lot of other ingredients bought in. Sometimes that means having the experience to just guess at what to do with a new vegetable – will it roast, and how long for, or can you stick it in the microwave, or will it go raw into a salad? Of course the internet does help! It’s amazing how much more confidence you have once you’ve watched a few video clips.
Results so far seem credible. This swede is about to be made into fritters to eat with fish. We are eating substantially more vegetables as a family. There is always salad to add to sandwiches when lunchboxes are being made. I am not, despite predictions, frazzled and running late with dinner every night. The only glut so far has been onions. So, cautiously, so far a success.